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Heavy/Robe Foxie Guide 2.0

Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
edited October 2014 in Venomancer
Table of Contents (sort of! =P )
Terms and warnings
Who is this for?
Changes in game
Why go Heavy/Robe?
How do I build for HA/AA?
Armor/Weapon choices and requirements
What cultivation?
What combos?
Myths and Legends
PvP >;D
A note on pets and genies
Etc. = whatever else I think I need later
Acknowledgments
FAQ&A
Change Log

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Terms used: Ones that some readers may not have a familiarity with are:
KoS = Kill on Sight
Frost = Frostcovered City, 75+ instance, primarily for exp
Nirvana3 or Nirvana Stage 3 = Take Lunar or Nirvana Gear, and use raps/cannies to bring it to stage 2, then farm Warsong to get badges and molds to bring this to stage 3.
r9rr = Rank 9 gear at stage 3.
HA = Heavy Armor
LA = Light armor
AA =Arcane Armor
LA, HA, and AA are interchanged with Light, Heavy, and Robe/Arcane
HH = Holy Halls = TT = Twilight Temple; thus HH70 = gear gotten from Twilight Temple for lvl 70.
SoG = Seal of the God, 15 second silence/freeze cleric skill.
SoR = Soul of Retaliation, a reflecting psychic skill.
SoSt = Soul of Stunning, a stunning (duh) psychic skill.
DoT = Damage over Time
QPQ = Quid Pro Quo, Latin for I-hate-you-so-I-give-you-all-my-debuffs, seeker skill to transfer debuffs onto target
(General stuff that most everybody knows: agro = aggression, or mob willingness to attack you. Pulling = running by lots of mobs so that they all agro you. Tanking = taking the damage and agro instead of the cleric/squadmates. Luring = sending pet out, getting the agro of one mob to come back to you and your waiting ambush. =P Ganked = teamed up against, targeted by many people and getting many attacks/debuffs )

Warnings: Though I have color coded this for easier reading, this is still a wall of text, lol. It also has sections, so use those for easier navigation. ^_^ However, I will also tl;dr on request.
This does include a bit of random commentary on my part. =P
This style is not for everyone. If you prefer your own, awesome! Just no flaming trolls please(flaming trolls will be escorted stage right by the nearest forum Mod, and doused). I love all styles that venomancers come in, and love the unique nature each brings, be that LA, HA, AA, hybrids, whatever lol.

Additional warnings: This is not an end-all-be-all. Though I believe what I say, and you may take it at face value that way, this is not an extensive, mathematically proven, absolutely-no-holes thesis. Rather, it is to give people an idea of what the build can do. Thus, examples are just that: examples. They are meant to give ideas, not be the optimal situation.

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Hello, my fellow veno friends!

Looking for a way to maximize the versatility of one of the most awesome classes in PWI?
Preparing to be the one who can do the job of every class when you might not have said other classes?
Looking forward to watching sins die in bewilderment when they drop from stealth to attack you in NW?

Then this guide is for you!

Who is this style for? As gone into more detail at various points, this style is for anyone below r9 who would like to increase the versatility, defense, and options available for their veno. Though r9 is not excluded completely, at a certain point this build won't help them as much.
In other words, this build is for the unique and adventurous! =) In my humble opinion, this build offers the most options for veno choices(from pet to armor set) and individuality, but then again, I'm slightly biased. =P

As many of you know, Rei did an awesome guide for HA/AA venos some time ago, listed here. However, there have been tons of changes to the mechanics and methods of PWI since then, and the world has changed a lot for venos.

Some other valuable links for HA/AA venos are this one and that one and this other one.

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To give a couple of things that have changed the balance:

Rebirths. Now it's possible to go back from lvl 100+ to level 1, and gain a bunch of extra stat points along the way! So far, you can only rebirth 2 times, but by moving your historic level up to 105, you can gain a maximum of 72 extra stat points from each 105.

Evolving pets.
Certain pets have been made to be able to evolve (hopefully more soon, we venos like our individuality *hint* GMs *hint*!!), increasing their stats, skills, and overall dynamic by various moods. This allows for stronger partners to join alongside you in your merry adventures! This also allows more skills to be used in both PvE and PvP.

New armor and weapons.
This changes the dynamic in several ways. Most of this is self-explanatory, but this allows new limits and choices of armor sets for different set bonuses.

New skills and old skill changes. This more has to do with the cultivation choice you choose. I'll go more in-depth into cultivation choices later, but suffice it to say that there has been a skill change dynamic, even with foxform, which may change which cultivation you end up choosing.

Cards and Nuema. This changes the balance, since it can either accentuate strengths or balance out weaknesses in stats, depending on how you work it.


So why go Heavy/Robe? Or why not?

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Cons:

Less magic attack. Fairly simple; the tradeoff of this build is stat points in magic versus stat points in strength and dexterity.

Low mana pool. As you give up magic, you give up mana. This can be difficult with costly skills (like myriad rainbow for 800 mp), or skills like arcane antimony, where the damage is based off of mp pool total.

More complex playstyle. Since this build takes full advantage of both foxform and human form, and involves some complex combos and situation reading, this can be more difficult than simply magic DDing and switching to fox for purge and amp.
As noted by Mauntille, veno is a complex class in general, when played right. But even among veno builds, this one tends to be more difficult, and adding the switching of equipment with skills/situation adds to the natural complexity.

More expensive. Since you should hopefully have at least two full sets of armor, full heavy and full robe, this is a more expensive style. Also, if you invest in tomes or other such stat-giving equipments to make stat allocation easier, this can add to the expense.
If you have equipment to transfer among alts, this can make it slightly easier. Though the expense is technically the same, just placed on another alt, that's all. =P

More difficult stat allocation. At least initially, Before rebirth, your stats will likely be stretched rather thin, even with stat-giving equipments to help. Of course, after rebirth this becomes much easier.


Here I will also mention a caveat, which if I didn't OPKossy would probably drop by and mention it, since he's like that, lol. With r9rr+12, Nation War ornaments and rings, etc., it is possible for venos to hit insanely high physical and magical defense stats, while maintaining an incredible amount of power. This means that many don't even need heavy armor to hit the physical resistance cap or come close. This guide, and method of building venomancers, is not much use for these people, since the tradeoff of magic attack power for physical hit power and physical defense doesn't tend to be worth it in this case. If you are only planning for Nirvana stage 3 or similar armor, this build can be highly advantageous, which I will get into more later. =)


Now that we have the cons out of the way, let's move on to the pros. ^_^

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Pros:

Incredible versatility. You can do everything! I mean that rather literally, as I have, in HH70 gear(HH80/90 weap), done everything in a Frost run, from tanking to full pulls to healing my pet when it tanks, alongside all the normals of buffing and debuffing and transferring sparks and luring, while still managing to be one of the highest damage dealers, frequently pulling agro from the other squadmates.
But yes, you can tank when you pull agro from your pets or squadmates, and do pulls to shame some barbarians, and don't have to kite like a crazy veno when you pull agro of all the phys mobs, lol. You also can survive the aoes which some squishier squadmates can't.
Note: I mentioned Frost as it is an instance which tends to be split according to class, not because of ease or difficulty of the instance. Second, you may not end up being one of the highest damage dealers/pull agro. I did in that case, even with an equal geared squad, but it is not a given. But you still can deal significant damage. =)

PvP versatility. You can switch your armor rapidly in any given PvP situation, allowing the ability to shift roles and abilities to confuse many of your foes, giving the advantage of surprise and flexibility in most battles.

Dynamic playstyle. As mentioned before, this build takes full advantage of foxform and human form. To fully utilize both, there is a lot of combos and switching forms involved, which leads to consistent action. This, though challenging, can be rewarding when mastered. ^_^

High magical and physical damage. Remember how I said that you sacrifice magic attack? Well it's true, but this hardly keeps you from being a major damage dealer--I keep up quite well with the damage output of my squad members, and steal agro easily from several, except the good barbarians. =) My physical damage is nothing to be scoffed at either, as I do more damage than my pets in foxform, and twice as fast.

Skyrocketed defenses. As this is often a pivotal reason that some choose this build, this is important to mention, even though it is fairly self-explanatory.
{I did some tests with a barbarian friend of mine (r9rr armor, nirvanva3+10 weapon, 50k hp standing form with tree of protection), who devoured, used tree of protection, then used perdition on me, while I was wearing HH70 heavy in foxform for a 10k normal, 20k crit. Compare this to a nirvana3 arcane friend he used the same combination on, who took 22k normal damage(44k crit).} Note: this is just an example. I can do more tests later if asked, though.

Bonuses from armor to you and your pet.As heavy gives a higher hp bonus than arcane, this can help your own hp, but as your evolved pets take some stats from you, this can benefit the pet's survivability as well.

Increased solo and team capability. Because of increased survivability and versatility, you can solo more things without fear of death or need of a stronger pet, since you can tank the things you need to. You also can fill in the slack if a squad is lacking, as mentioned above. This can be anything from defending earth pavilion to tanking in HH, etc..

Along with the solo capability, HA/AA venos can farm using autocultivation without needing autopot/charms, since they can heal back their hp with leech spamming (since they have the accuracy necessary and more dmg), and triple spark/consume spirit for mp. Though it should be also noted that Dark Taboo, the primal version, never misses and restores more hp. However, because this is a melee skill, HA/AA venos still hold an advantage that they will take less damage at melee; you can pretty much autocultivate until your weapon breaks with no worries about hp or mp.


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Those are some pros and cons. Having come this far, the question becomes:
How do I do this build?

Stats. Assuming that you have not rebirthed, the the stats are going to be stretched.
But put priorities where they should be, lol. You should always be able to wear a weapon your level. This means an automatic 3 points go into magic every level. However, this means you'll be behind on heavy armor levels, unless you get the other stats from somewhere.

I have a couple suggested ways to go about this.
1) Pretend you're a normal arcane veno until you have 300 magic, then pour everything from there into strength and dexterity every level after that, fitting the stats to the next level of armor you want to wear. This works well with the initial leveling and such, and doesn't nerf or trouble your process much.
2) Put as much magic into your veno to reach the weapon at the next highest 10 level sequence(e.g., at level 50 start putting points into magic until you have enough to hold HH60 weapon), then use the remaining stats in the 10 level sequence to put to str and dex. This is good if you want to experience as much benefit from the armor defenses as you can while leveling.
3) You can stretch and plan your stats according to certain stat giving equipments, and possibly hold armor and weapons equal to your level. This involves a lot of forethought and planning, and while offers the greatest possible benefits, is also quite difficult and may require a restat or two. The method this is not suggested if you aren't good at planning, because it involves making your build off of equipment bonuses, and as equipment changes as you level, this could be problematic if you could no longer wear something when an equipment was switched. Also, this may require more restats if you mess up here.
Note: Planning is all well and good, though, so if you do that well, wonderful! Take this method and run with it(ornie engravings and stat tomes are your friends here). You also have 6 ornaments (2 rings, belt, neck, cape, and helm) to add stats with.

A lot of this fades once you rebirth, since often you will gain enough extra stats in the rebirth to cover the missing stat points.

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Gear Calculation Area:
Credit for this section goes to Mauntille, for having a huge collection offhand, lol.

The first are some possible ways to stat your gear. :) These are helpful especially since PWcalc doesn't take into account reawakenings and war avatars.

As a caveat, there are some pieces in here which are harder to get, such as the trophy capes (didn't they take out Trophy Mode for bh69 and bh79? Last I checked, they did. =( Which means that they are now much harder to acquire than before, if you go that route) or the Vambraces of Blood Moon. There are few other items which can match the stat boosters of these equipments, but some other equips to keep in mind are 3* equip with the right addons, the] bh89/99 Trophy Mode Capes(pretty sure those are both still up, if not try Lunar), tomes, ornaments like the Seal of Eternal Solitude ring and other like equipment. Make sure you keep a good eye out! :)


Here are the builds:
Level 70
Level 80
Level 90
Level 100, HA w/ -int bias
Level 101, HA NS3
Level 101, HA NS3 w/ R9RRW

The second is a table with damage calculations for comparison. ^_^
The full list of veno builds is:
Build Desc.             PW Calc Link                            Phys Dmg    Mag Dmg     APS     crit    -chan   P.Weap Dmg  M.Weap Dmg
70 Veno HA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/3959b38661e76fb2      1334        3821        1.33    3%      -0%     564         932
80 Veno HA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/174dc3e8b6f57115      1796        4646        1.33    7%      -0%     910         1146
90 Veno HA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/d4127d0aec3bd38d      2643        5765        1.05    11%     -3%     961         1358
Int Veno HA Mage        http://pwcalc.com/f0ab2b710c971f16      4205        8637        2.22    14%     -1%     1396        1932
NS3 Veno HA Mage        http://pwcalc.com/e420eea649988277      4728        9450        1.54    12%     -1%     1499        2111
R9RRW Veno HA Mage*     http://pwcalc.com/832f09e50d9e4194      5016        10904       1.18    12%     -4%     1597        2269
70 Veno HA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/c91ea640ecb7145a      2021        3723        1.33    3%      -0%     589         977
80 Veno HA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/5a50d0518b2c4cff      2656        4542        1.33    7%      -0%     740         1121
90 Veno HA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/78015e12dc6a4f69      3790        5657        1.05    11%     -3%     986         1333
Int Veno HA Fox         http://pwcalc.com/0fe9b5b17835a3ac      5869        8524        2.22    14%     -1%     1421        1907
NS3 Veno HA Fox         http://pwcalc.com/0d16c61b7f7c4ce2      6630        9223        1.54    12%     -1%     1549        2061
R9RRW Veno HA Fox*      http://pwcalc.com/246e7e08b5938c6d      7256        10416       1.18    12%     -4%     2170        2169

Build Desc.             PW Calc Link                            Phys Dmg    Mag Dmg     APS     crit    -chan   P.Weap Dmg  M.Weap Dmg
70 Veno AA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/835fd65b9d959e88      856         5715        1.25    1%      -6%     585         1100
80 Veno AA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/199dba7b40a522b8      1281        6622        1.25    7%      -12%    845         1214
90 Veno AA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/c43e475800fe8375      1493        8422        1.25    8%      -18%    934         1381
Chan Veno AA Mage       http://pwcalc.com/a252e4bf1c3c7a7c      1909        13174       1.33    9%      -62%    1196        1926
NS3 Veno AA Mage        http://pwcalc.com/0db311efcb4d9dda      2122        14852       1.33    10%     -19%    1299        2105
R9RRW Veno AA Mage      http://pwcalc.com/b16f52a865cd6038      2289        16431       1.05    10%     -22%    1397        2263
70 Veno AA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/d6c9c90ad747dbd4      1543        5582        1.25    1%      -6%     610         1075
80 Veno AA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/a74a3e1b457081de      2270        6482        1.25    7%      -12%    870         1189
90 Veno AA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/9c583ea819fcaf10      2578        8265        1.25    8%      -18%    959         1356
Chan Veno AA Fox        http://pwcalc.com/d7158487aa81ce00      3297        13000       1.33    9%      -62%    1221        1901
NS3 Veno AA Fox         http://pwcalc.com/dec1ae2cf7fee6ef      3706        14493       1.33    10%     -19%    1349        2055
R9RRW Veno AA Fox       http://pwcalc.com/87b2642b99309402      4135        15693       1.05    10%     -22%    1497        2163


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How do I manage the extra armor? In other words, how would one switch fast enough to actually be advantageous?
What I did was I set one armor set to the f1-f6 hotkeys, and have that tray and the one containing the other armor set active. So when I need to switch, I press v to rotate the sliding bar and slide my finger across the f1-f6 keys(or however many you need), switching complete armor sets in less than a second. Depending on your keyboard, you can try different options, but my suggested is to use hotkey switches.
As a sidenote, I'm really hoping that they will install armor switch macros sometimes soon *hint GMs hint*, which would be incredibly useful, since instead of having to slide across 6 keys, one would only have to press 1, or possibly even click it.

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What weapons should I aim for? Always an important thing to know.
To give you a basic rundown, the 4 possible magic weapons for you are:

Wand--most consistent damage, but also lowest damage. (1.25 attack speed)
Magic Sword--average damage, spike damage, and consistency. (1.25 attack speed)
Glaive--slightly inconsistent damage, but good range and decent spike damage. (1.25 attack speed)
Pataka--least consistent damage, but highest possible spike damage.(1 attack speed)


So what weapons are best for this style?

Though in the end it is always a question of playstyle and preference, the best weapons in my opinion, especially for this build, are the magic sword and pataka. Why?
The magic sword has the highest physical damage (when taking aps into account) of all the magic weapons, and is consistent damage-wise. This is quite powerful when used right.
The pataka has the highest spike damage, and when tossing out magic attacks, sometimes it can be nice to have hits which rival other magic DD classes. It doesn't lack in damage, and if you don't mind slightly less predictability, it can be quite effective.
On a side note, venos with patakas just look pretty darn awesome, lol. So sassy! >.>

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Weapons and Armor choices.
Some of the best armor and weapon alternatives to R9 are stage 3 Nirvana weapons and armor. To give you an idea of their requirements and stats:

Stage 3 pataka:
★Silence of Frost
Level: 100
Strength: 56
Magic: 280
Physical Attack: 844-1032
Magic Attack: 1023-1900
(guaranteed attack level +40)


Stage 3 magic sword:
★Sandy World
Level: 100
Strength: 52
Magic: 285
Physical Attack: 721-1080
Magic Attack: 1316-1608
(guaranteed attack level +40)

To the best of my recollection, Stage 3 Nirvana Heavy has the requirements of 252 strength and 54 dexterity. I might be a bit off, but that's close. Arcane armor you should never have a problem wearing....but for what it's worth, I think the magic requirements are 155, and the strength is 55.

That's endgameish stuff. From ~60 up though, here are some general requirements for stats:
Magic swords:
★Ancient Arbor
Level Req: 60
Strength needed: 34
Magic needed: 180
Physical Attack: 282-422
Magic Attack: 511-624
★Grief's Breath
Level Req: 70
Strength needed: 39
Magic needed: 210
Physical Attack: 322-482
Magic Attack: 584-713
★Yaksa
Level Req: 80
Strength needed: 44
Magic needed: 240
Physical Attack: 370-555
Magic Attack: 673-822
★Innocent Reverie
Level Req: 90
Strength needed: 49
Magic needed: 270
Physical Attack: 411-616
Magic Attack: 748-914
★Broken Dream
Level Req: 99
Strength needed: 54
Magic needed: 297
Physical Attack: 456-684
Magic Attack: 831-1016

Heavy Armor:
Army Commander Set
Level:70
Strength: 177
Dexterity: 39
Tiger Roar Set
Level:80
Strength: 202
Dexterity: 44
Mountcrasher set
Level:90
Strength: 227
Dexterity: 49


So now that we know the whos, whys and the hows of this build, let's keep moving the the what's and what-abouts.

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What cultivation should I choose? The age old question, hehe. Venos have one of the most balanced sage/demon choices, so ours is the fairest when saying it comes down to playstyle. But for the sake of actually being helpful, let me mention some of the benefits of each cultivation, to better guide your choice in being a HA/AA veno. ^_^

Demon:
Demon's get speed benefits from foxform, making this a viable choice for when you are pulling.
Ironwood can proc a 0 phys defense, meaning that it's possible to hit them once with ironwood and then you and your pet can eat them alive with phys attacks. =) Note on this: if you get the primal version, it no longer goes down to 0 phys def, but instead only drops by 180%. However, it also has a more reliable proc. A frequent combination would be ironwood+arcane antimony, for a very hard hitting skill (as arcane antimony hits phys dmg).
Demon spark has higher physical damage boost(650%)(700% magical boost), leading to an increase in dps in both casting and hitting. This also works great with primal skills in foxform.
Mo Zun's taunt + chi burn + crush vigor can drop someone's sparks so fast they won't know what happened, lol. Add a genie chi burn in here, and there won't be enough chi left to light a match, much less drop a blade tempest or similar costing skill.
Demon Nova gives a mini-Heaven's-Flame(same chance as seal/freeze chance), making it possible to drop mobs faster on large pulls.
Demon Venemous drops wood defense, making your magical hits often just as hard as other magic DDs.
Demon Summer Sprint is an antistun, making this a quite useful skill in general (the only other antistun we have is Natural Synergy).
Demons also gain increased crit chances from their masteries, adding to the increased crit chance you get from the increased dex.

For these and other reasons, you might want to consider demon. In general, demon is has better spike hits and status effects, and can lead to a nice balance with HA/AA due to hitting hard magically and physically, while still being an excellent puller and tank.

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Sage:
In the newest foxform, gotten at level 100, sages gain 35 chi per transform, making this a great chi-build option. Sage foxform also has increased accuracy and physical defense over demon, making your HA that much more effective.
Sage Venemous has a 20% chance of getting 40 chi per usage(30 additional chi from the normal 10; it does work this way, yes =P ), instead of just 10.
Master Li's tech allows 50 chi every 60 seconds.
Sage spark gives 900% magic damage(500% physical boost), allowing you to out-DD many magic classes in raw power hits; combined with the ability to get 3 sparks in a fairly short duration of time, this can be used to consistently pour out high damage.
Sage Lucky scarab lasts 4 seconds, creating a chance for an easier stunlock, though one might stun primarily with pets as well.
Sage purge has a 5 meter radius, allowing some good usage in group pvp. =)
Sage amp gives 30% boost instead of just 20%; though demon is 25% as should be noted. =)
Sage summer sprint clears all purify-able debuffs, which is great when gank-tanking.

For these reasons and others, you might want to consider sage. In general, sage has more higher damage, defense and chi-building, making this a good option for the many combos one uses as a HA/AA veno.

Extra notes: with the advent of war avatar cards, nuema, etc., some of the differences between the two cultivations, as well as some other changes in balance of the HA/AA style can be balanced out with certain cards or such, meaning that choosing one cultivation or another will not completely nerf the ability to do something. For example, you can get the extra physical defense and accuracy from cards that sage foxform has, or get extra crit chance from cards or primal world instead of needing demon masteries.

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Updated Demon/ Sage Cultivation Guide
In the updated section here, I will go through each individual skill, covering the sage and demon side, and how that applies to the dynamic for HA/AA venos. ^_^ At the end, I'll add some additional/concluding notes. =) Skill descriptions are from ecatomb.

Venemous Scarab:Throw a virulent parasite at the enemy,
dealing base magic damage plus 100% of
weapon damage plus 2534 as Wood damage.

Demon version weakens the target for 6 seconds, reducing Wood Resistance by 30%. This added amp to your damage can be helpful to the HA/AA veno, since you are trading some magic attack for additional defense. This amp helps your damage stay on par with others.
Sage version has a 20% chance to generate an additional 30 Chi. The extra 30 chi can be quite nice when combo building, allowing you to spark more frequently when combined with other chi build options for a high sustained damage output.

Ironwood Scarab:Throw a hardwood beetle at the enemy, dealing base magic
damage plus 300% of weapon damage plus 2770.0 as Wood damage.
Weakens the target for 10 seconds, reducing Physical Defense by 40%.
Costs 25 Chi.

Demon version only has a 20% chance to weaken
the target, but reduces Physical Defense to 0.
Though only a 20% chance, knocking someone's physical defense to 0 opens up the opportunity for many deadly combos. As an HA/AA veno, you can switch to foxform when this procs and drop some hard-hitting skills or even aps them for some hefty damage. Also, landing an arcane antimony here is amazingly powerful.
Sage version reduces Physical Defense for 20 seconds. The extended time allows for more combos and physical attacks to be dropped in the duration of this skill, meaning you can spend more time in one human or foxform.

Blazing Scarab: Throw a flaming parasite at the enemy,
dealing base magic damage as Wood damage.
Sets the enemy on fire for 9 seconds, dealing
100% of weapon damage plus 6427.0 as Fire damage.

Demon version reduces the burn duration by 3 seconds. Not much here, but it does increase the damage of each burn.
Sage version increases Fire damage by 20%. Adds some minimal extra damage.
Neither demon nor sage blazing scarab has much to do with veno build, or any specific advantages. Though demon technically does more damage overall, and sage can stack better.

Redstone Venomworm: Primal skill combining Ironwood Scarab and Blazing Scarab: Fling a venemous sandworm at the target, doing base magic damage plus 300% of weapon damage plus 3578 as wood damage. The worm burrows into the target for 10 seconds, lowering its physical defense by 40% and dealing 600% of weapon damage plus 6427 as fire damage.
Costs 25 chi.

Demon version has a 25% chance to reduce physical defense by 180%. For demon, this is a toss-up. While the proc of decreased phys resist is much more reliable, even the 180% reduction doesn't beat the 0 phys defense. Also, you can't get the chi from blazing scarab. However, this may be useful for a more reliable phys reduction for you and your pet to damage in.
Sage version increases duration to 20 seconds, and increase physical defense reduction to 50%. More beneficial for sage, this debuff keeps the 20 seconds of the previous skill and improves the physical resist decrease. Same notes from sage ironwood apply. Useful for increased duration of foxform hits with high damage.

Frost Scarab: Throw an icy bug at the enemy, dealing base magic
damage plus 100% of weapon damage plus 5135.0 as Wood
damage. Has a 80% chance to cause frostbite for 9
seconds, dealing 300% weapon damage plus 5135.0 as
Water damage and reducing the enemy's speed by 70%.
Costs 1 Spark.

Demon version also freezes targets for 3 seconds,
and Frostbite decreases speed by 70%.
The increased speed debuff of demon and freeze make catching up to people much easier. This applies well to archers, where the better range is within 5 meters. Using this to close the gap, then keeping them in place with stunning blow while you deal out forxform skills and so forth aid the HA/AA veno when close range is a necessity.
Sage version has a 95% chance to cause frostbite,
and Frostbite decreases speed by 70%
This does more damage, and makes a more reliable slow. Once again, useful for chasing people.
An additional usage of this skill is slowing/delaying the charge of close range mobs when tanking phys mobs, though a useful usage opportunity is rare due to lack of aoe and spark cost.

Noxious Gas: Fling a large toxic parasite, creating a noxious cloud
that attacks all enemies within 9 meters of your target.
Deals base magic damage plus 200% of weapon damage plus
2296 as Wood damage. Over the next 9 seconds, targets will
take an additional 100% of weapon damage plus 9.0 Wood damage.

Demon version reduces the cooldown by 1 second. The increase spammability is great for a HA/AA veno, since when you pull, whether solo or in groups, you often don't have many aoes to use, thus having a more spammable aoe to use is a blessing.
Sage version increases both initial over time damage to 3054. Slight increased damage for both helps you keep agro on pulls slightly better.

Lucky Scarab: Throw a toxic scarab at the enemy, dealing base magic
damage plus 100% of weapon damage plus 4320 as Wood
damage. Has a 95% chance to stun the target for 3 seconds.

Demon version reduces the cooldown by 2 seconds. A more frequent stun? Yes please. When switching from foxform to human form and back again, as an HA/AA veno is wont to do, there are occasionally gaps in the stuns on people; the shortened cooldown makes those gaps easier to cover sometimes.
Sage version increases stun duration by 1 second. From a 3 to a 4 second stun, this works great in conjunction with parasitic nova. 4 sec(12 sec cd) - > 8 sec -> 4 sec stun is a simple loop for a stunlock. The extra second can be nice for armor switching or form switching.

Parasitic Nova
: Summons a swarm of toxic parasite to attack enemies
within 12 meters of the target. Deals base magic
damage plus 300% of weapon damage plus 8606 as Wood
damage. Has a 95% chance to drive them mad for 8
seconds, preventing them from moving or attacking.
Costs 2 Sparks.

Demon version increase the damage taken by enemies by 30% while driven mad. This is great during pulls for the HA/AA veno, giving extra aoe damage making for faster mob cleanup.
Sage version has a 50% chance to cost only 1 Spark. Great for the sake of combos, the chance to only cost 1 spark allows for more chi gain to be used for sparking, combos, or survival skills as may/will be needed as a tank/puller.

Wood Mastery:
Increases all Wood damage by 20%.

Demon version also increases Critical Rate by 2%. Because of the requirements for holding heavy armor, your dexterity will already be increased--so this is like a crit bonus on top of a crit bonus. Helps with more spike hits.
Sage version increases Wood damage by 25%. Greater overall sustained damage, sage allows you to hit hard both magically and physically.

Bramble Guard: Conjure a shield of brambles to protect an
ally, dealing 60% of incoming damage
plus 25% of weapon damage to attacking
enemies. Lasts 20 minutes. Damage is not
reflected back against attacking players[in open world pk].

Demon version reflects 75% of incoming damage. For more giggle-fits for HA/AA venos (who already laugh at sins in NW/TW apsing them because the damage reflected is greater than damage received) the increased damage reflected nicely compliments the heavy/robe style.
Sage version lasts 20 minutes. Though the skill is unchanged, the increased duration means you don't have to worry about it as much in tanking situations, like holding a cata in TW.

Metabolic Boost: Enhance your metabolism, recovering 50% of your maximum Health.

Demon version reduces the cooldown by 90 seconds.
Sage version increases the heal to 60%.

Nature's Grace: Draw on the power of nature, recovering 50% of your maximum Mana.

Demon version reduces the cooldown by 90 seconds.
Sage version increases Mana recovery to 60%.

To be honest, in the above two skills, the demon has the advantage of more frequent use. Though from 3.5 minutes to 5 minutes, it's still infrequent. Overall, both compliment the tanking/pulling aspect of heavy/robe venos, meaning if it takes you a fair bit to kill a pull, or if your healer is busy while you tank the boss, having a hp increase in the middle is quite nice. You can also use soul transfuse if only one of your hp/mp is low, while the other is at 100%.

Lending Hand: Link your spirit with that of an ally, transferring a Spark to your target.
Costs 1 Spark.

Demon version has a 20% chance to transfer 2 Sparks.

Sage version has a 25% chance to consume no Sparks.
Sage has a more reliable proc. Demon is better for team play, sage is better for oneself. Either way, it can be used on oneself for a chance at an extra spark.

Summer Sprint: Draw upon the spirit of summer, increasing
your speed by 45% for 10 minutes.
Usable in Fox Form.

Demon version grants you immunity to movement-impairing effects for 6 seconds. This is great as a heavy/robe for pulling mobs that stun/freeze. Also useful overall in pvp.
Sage version also removes all negative status effects. This is great for gank-tanking; when you are the cata-puller and have a lot of debuffs on simultaneously, you can use this to purify quickly. As should be obvious, you can't use it while stunned or sealed. However, you can use it while paralyzed, so when you are frozen in the middle of pulling or in pvp, you can use this to purify.

Imbued Foxform: Transform into your fox form, increasing Physical Defense by
120% and Accuracy by 120%.
Allows Fox Form skills to be used.
Shares a cooldown with Fox Form.

Demon version shields you for 6 seconds, increasing your
speed by 60% and reducing attackers' Critical Rate by 5%.
The speed from this foxform helps quite nicely with pulling, though it requires switching in and out. This is where the added defense of HA/AA is nice, you don't suffer much more damage even though you switched back to human form.
Sage version generates 35 Chi. Physical defense is increased to 150%, and accuracy is increased by 250%. This is great for combo building in pvp and pve. Especially in the role of tank, this gives you additional chi to survive with. Also, the additional defense and accuracy gotten from the sage version is helpful when apsing and using foxform skills(at least until you get the primal versions). At lower armor levels, the additional defense can sometimes increase your defense to the levels of higher armor sets.


Purge: Dispel an enemy's protective magic, removing all positive status effects.

Demon version reduces the cooldown by 5 seconds. Spammable purge...muahaha! People tend to run when we approach in foxform anyway--overall, this doesn't affect playstyle much though. Except adding a bit more evil laughter.
Sage version also dispels enemies within 5 meters of the target. This is useful in group pvp, and as an HA/AA veno you will be in the middle of things more often than other kinds of venos, having an aoe on the purge can be quite useful.

Amplify Damage: Curse a target with vulnerability, increasing the damage it takes by 25% for 20 seconds.
If the enemy is already cursed, the previous curse will be removed.

Demon version lasts 26 seconds. Longer time to hit people. Doesn't affect playstyle much.
Sage version increases damage taken by 30%. More damage on hits. Doesn't affect playstyle much, but can help increase the damage to keep up better with other characters.

Soul Degeneration: Curse the target's soul with stagnation, preventing Health and Mana regeneration for 30 seconds.
If the enemy is already cursed, the previous curse will be removed.

Demon version also halves the target's Evasion for 20 seconds. This is great for smacking people in foxform as a heavy/robe foxie. Especially if you are smacking an archer or assassin. Also useful for allies trying to land skills.
Sage version reduces also maximum Health by 20%. Dropping max hp can be nice for bosses or tanky enemies. Overall doesn't affect playstyle too much though.

Crush Vigor: Curse the target with forgetfulness for 15 seconds, causing it to lose 12 Chi whenever it attacks.
If the enemy is already cursed, the previous curse will be removed.

Demon version has a 50% chance to generate 1 Spark. "Curses target with forgetfulness"--lol! Like forgetting chi? Explain that one, PWI...
Anyways, demon is nice for that extra spark chance. More combos! Just what we needed. =) Chi has many uses.
Sage version increases Chi loss to 15 per. This works well, especially if both you and your pet are wailing on someone with rapid attacks. Their chi won't know what hit them.....or maybe it'll forget. lol.

Fox Wallop: Deliver a powerful melee attack, dealing base
physical damage plus 3059. Dazes the enemy for
3 seconds, reducing channeling speed by 35%.
Costs 20 Chi.

Demon version has a 20% chance to make all your hits critical for 5 seconds. Crit time! Just a proc chance, but still lovely if you can pull it off. As an HA/AA veno, this is great for when you are rapidly hitting someone, or want to pull off a nice spike crit. This can also be used to force a crit on a high-powered skill or spark for devastating results.
Sage version has a 50% chance to consume no Chi. Keeping chi is always lovely--doesn't have too much to do with playstyle though.

Befuddling Mist: Spray a bewitching fog, dealing base physical
damage plus 2281. Confuses the target for
8 seconds, reducing Accuracy by 2281.0%.

Demon version also slows the enemy for 3 seconds, decreasing speed by 30%. Well, the decreased speed can always help with kiters! Since this is actually a frontal aoe, this is nice for pulls, especially long ones, to keep agro while slowing enemies.
Sage version deals an extra 800 damage. Eh, meh, extra damage. Can't hurt, I guess.

Grudge Strike: Primal skill combining Fox Wallop and Befuddling Mist: Attack all enemies in front of you with a flurry of blows, dealing base physical damage plus 5055. Lowers the target's accuracy by 70% and increases their channeling time by 35%. Also decreases attack rate by 125% for player targets. Lasts for 8 seconds. Never misses.

Demon version generates 20 chi. Yay, one of the few chi-gains for demon venos! Nice for spamming something while in foxform.
Sage version increases channeling time by 50%. Good for when fighting casters in foxform.

Stunning blow: Strike the enemy with a stunning blow,
dealing base physical damage plus 3641
and freezing the target for 8 seconds.
Costs 1 Spark.

Demon version has a 50% chance to stun the enemy for 3 seconds. Stuns are always good! Covers the gaps in the many form switches that we do as heavy/robe venos, anyway.
Sage version has a 25% chance to consume no Sparks. Always wanted to keep a spark! Combined with the many other opportunities sages have to keep and gain chi, they all add up rather nicely to keep a high chi amount to use combos or spark often with.

Primal Stunning Blow: Strike the enemy with a stunning blow,
dealing base physical damage plus 5537 and freezing the target for 8 seconds. Never misses.
Costs 1 Spark.

Sage version has a 25% to consume no sparks. See above. Never missing is kinda nice, though this more fits venos who tend to miss more, rather than us HA/AA people.
Demon Version has a 50% chance to stun the target for 3 seconds. See above.

Leech: Bite the enemy with a leeching attack,
dealing base physical damage plus 3505.0.
Has an 80% chance to steal 600 Health.

Demon version steals 800 Health. Well hey, this makes autoculti pretty easy. Just foxform and spam leech/consume spirit(or spark), and no worrying about that hp or mp.
Sage version has a 100% chance to steal Health. Just making it more reliable--great! Also lovely for autoculti and such.

Consume Spirit: Devour a portion of your own soul, consuming 10% of
your current Health and dealing base physical damage
to the target. After 3 seconds, you will gain 500 Mana.

Demon version reduces the cooldown by 3 seconds. More spammable, so more mana--nice as something else to do in foxform.
Sage version never misses. This is kinda nice, but the primal skill never misses either.

Dark Taboo: Primal Skill combining Leech and Consume Spirit: Blast the target with dark energy, siphoning their life force into yourself. Deals base damage plus 6319. Restores from 800 to 2000 health, based on your soulforce. Never misses.

Demon version generates 20 chi. Yay, more chi gain! Guess they decided demon venos needed more of that. How nice.
Sage version reduces the cooldown by 1 second. Guess they decided sages needed more spammability. lol.
Neither of these do too much with playstyle, though the sage one could be pretty nice for the sake of hitting things in foxform, and autoculti.

Malefic Crush: Deliver a crushing blow to all enemies within 8
meters. Deals base physical damage plus 7556, and
burns their souls for 9 seconds, consuming 1800 Mana.
Costs 2 Sparks.

Demon version burns 2400 Mana.
Extra mana burn--good for those that have some extra mana, like light armor people. Also great for gank situations.
Sage version burns the target for 3 seconds, consuming 1800 Mana. As an HA/AA veno, this actually benefits one of the barb killing combos nicely, since you have the accuracy and such to pull it off reliably. The shortened duration means it burns a lot faster and is effective as such. Also good when being ganked by a large group to drop a lot of people's mana fast.

Primal Malefic Crush: Deliver a crushing blow to all enemies within 10 meters. Deals base physical damage plus 9303, and burns their souls for 9 seconds, consuming 1800 mana. Has a chance to paralyze targets for 2 seconds (new status, ignores antistun); this chance is between 50% and 90% depending on your soulforce. Never misses. You are immune to damage while casting this skill.

Demon version burns 2400 mana. There is already a discussion about this, so go see that thread for considering whether you want to keep your normal malefic crush or move to primal. Overall, though, the biggest advantage is the aoe paralyze, which is great for mass interrupts while running into a large group of enemies, as well as good for pulls. Specifically to demon, they maintain the mana burn increase.
Sage version increases the stun chance by 10%. The sage has a higher chance of effectiveness, though, so if you go primal with this, this will be more effective for your stunning purposes. =)

Melee Mastery: Increases all weapon damage by 150% in Fox Form.

Demon version also increases Critical Rate by 3%. Woot! More crit and more death for apsing, foxforming, and so forth! Good to have overall.
Sage version increases damage by 200%. More damage! This makes your already high phys attack even higher, making you hit painfully hard.

Feral Concentration: Focus all of your concentration on
defense, rendering you immune to all
incoming damage but preventing you
from moving. Lasts 10 seconds.
Usable in Fox form.
Costs 1 Spark.

A 79 skill, all around usefulness--a 10 sec IG! Though you need to use antistun before activating this to be able to do anything, this is a great skill all around for when tanking is necessary. Though not particularly for HA/AA, we do end up tanking more than most other venos, whether that be cata-pulling or what-have-you, so good to keep in mind. Demon Summer Sprint can help here, so you don't have to fortify.

Myriad Rainbow: Launch a wide variety of poisonous
scarabs at the enemy, randomly
inflicting the target with one
or more of the following effects:
Bleeding for 4500 Physical damage.
Poisoned for 4500 Wood damage.
Physical Defense reduced by 100%.
Magic Defense reduced by 100%.
Lasts 9 seconds.
Costs 20 Chi

Another 79 skill with a variety of uses. As an HA/AA veno, you can utilize the armor break more than another might. No status effects are guaranteed, though. Foxform Rainbow is AOE around you, and Human form Rainbow is a 25 meter 1-target spell. Always great for solo and team play, though, since those debuffs are quite powerful! You can use them to amp your magic or physical attack, or simply add a DoT to your foe. It does cost 20 chi, but sages have an advantage of lots of spare chi in this case.

Fossilized Curse: Assault your enemy with the essence of death itself.
Deals base magic damage plus 100% of weapon damage
plus 150% of your maximum Health as Wood damage.
Removes all positive status effects from the
target, and reduces Attack Rate by 100% and
Accuracy by 300% for 15 seconds. Never misses.
Costs 1 Spark.

As a foxform skill, this utilizes your HA quite well. Your increased health from armor refines, and dealing magic damage, this cripples attacking melees quite well.

Arcane Antimony: Tap into both natural and arcane magics, creating a
powerful blast from their antipodal energy. Deals base
magic damage plus 100% of weapon damage plus 150% of
your maximum Mana. Dazes the target, reducing speed
by 70% and channeling speed by 90% for 15 seconds.
Costs 1 Spark.

Along with the forementioned combo with demon ironwood, this is a great skill overall to even the playing field with attacking magic classes. Hit them hard with this, and you'll have an opening of slow casting and kiting to charge in and wreak havoc.

Morai Skills:
So with the addition of the Morai update some time ago, we have 5 more skills to add to this list! However, none of them particularly affect playstyle, since they are the same for sage/demon. They are great skills (mostly PvP oriented, so great for that!), so I'll mention them briefly. =)

Natural Synergy
: This makes your pet more powerful, as well as making you and your pet anti-stunned for 10 seconds. Often used for it's antistun, it should be noted that it costs a spark and requires your pet to be out, so use with care! Still a useful skill though, especially for sages, who have no other antistun.

Blazing Barrier: The mini-hood which actually works in open world PvP! Aside from being really nice for only costing 30 chi, it can also be stacked with Hood, adding even more reflect and dmg reduction in TW/NW.

Chi burn: self explanatory--great for taking a spark and a half from anyone.

Bewitch: a great skill to seal (a seal you can't undo with lawbreaker) someone for 6 seconds, as well as knock barbs our of True Form and clerics out of Violet Dance, etc..

Soul link: A skill which is hard to find a usage for, but can be quite impressive if used right. This summons a voodoo doll next to the target to hit for additional damage. This skill bypasses all forms of damage reduction, including Invoke, IG, AD, and other such. You can use AOEs on the doll to basically double your damage (if they are close enough to the doll you summon). I have not yet been able to test it on people who stealth yet, though. It does cost 2 sparks and has a long cast time, though, so just keep that in mind.


__________________________________________________
You keep talking about combos as an HA/AA veno. What do you mean?
Good question! Instead of giving you a dozen scenarios, which would take for-ev-er and have many sleeping foxies at the end, let me just cover this in brief by saying:
As a HA/AA veno, you will be switching armor often to match the situation. This may also affect whether you go foxform for the increased phys def, or terrorizing robe or light armor wearers, or debuffs or what-have-you. You may also need to build chi quickly to pull off large combos for surviving (since you may be a tank, cata puller, or just have the normal KoS that all venos have, lol) or offense. This involves Bramble Hood -> Feral -> Blazing barrier -> Bramble hood (like 6 sparks, lol), or stunlocks that involve actually using Nova twice in succession (check the PvP thread to figure out what I'm talking about, think someone mentioned a stunlock there). You may also need to combine several debuffs at once, from befuddling mist+fox wallop+amp+purge+bewitch+stunning blow and suddenly switching to standing for lucky+nova+frost scarab while tossing out a genie skill, and your cultivation may have an effect on which combos you chose.

________________________________________________
Myths and Legends
Special thanks to Rei for this section:

Myth busting time.
Myth: Heavy armour venos grind slow.
Lol no. Grinding is the same rate compared to arcane or light armour builds. Actually with my herc, aoe grinding is very fast.

Myth: Heavy armour venos have low HP.
Yes, however you're not going to switch to this build if you're going to be cheap. It's certainly possible to get 6k+ HP at 90s but this relies heavily on armour refines and HP shards. Heavy armour gives higher HP bonuses in refines than light and arcane armour does, since heavy armour venos cannot spare points for vit we rely heavily on this for HP.

Myth: Heavy armour venos have lower magic resistance than light+arcane builds..
Actually, light armour does. We're able to switch between arcane+heavy for the higher magic and physical resistances.

Myth: Fox form uses magic attacks.
No, fox form is strictly physical attacks, the skills are based on your own physical attack but in fox form you are still required to use a magic weapon.

Myth: Heavy venos are strictly fox form.
No, this build needs a high amount of magic to use the magic weapon in fox form, and str+dex to wear heavy armour. It's the venos choice but it can be used as both a caster and melee fox.

Myth: Heavy armour venos have less attack than arcane venos. Yes, but only by a little. We have enough magic required for our weapons but it does not completly gimp us to the point where we grind slower/ cannot farm Twilight temple. Our magic attack is the same compared to light armour venos. In fact, it has even greater advtantages since I am able to solo heal my herc through soulbanisher who has a nasty phys aoe. No arcane or light veno in fox form could survive it.
Also notable myths are:
Myth:Heavy/Robe venos are limited to heavy armor only.Hopefully I have dispelled this so far, but on the contrary, HA/AA venos is named so because we use both on a regular basis.
Myth:HA/AA venos miss out on set bonuses because they use both HA and AA.Hardly the case; we carry two or more full sets, and can use both fully. And even when we use a combination of both, we can get at least some armor bonuses(e.g. hp and def levels) while having higher resistances than a full LA set of same value.

______________________________________________
PvP!! *Cue blood red text* What, still not working? *PKs a nearby spawnkiller and comes back, blood dripping from tail*
*Cue blood red text*
Better. >;D
Anyways, PvP!

I'll narrow this section down to 1v1s and team PvP(including some TW).
First of all, as an HA/AA veno, what is your role in team PK? Often times, you have the exact same role as normal, involving purge/amp/debuffs along with spark transfer and DD as needed. Venos excel in support, and this would not take away from this role in any way. But now we add to it a couple possible roles. You can be chosen as a tank--either cata-puller, flag carrier, or similar role. You can also be chosen as a powerful distracting force, charging into the midst of enemies, wreaking havoc, and running back out(and surviving!). You can also be a headhunter, chosen to take out one priority target at a time.
Since the normal veno role is well established, I'll not cover it unless needed.

As a tank, your job would be to take a beating. But as such, you will be getting ganked a lot. Often, an excellent choice would be using heavy armor, and letting your magical ornaments and rings cover for your magical defense. If slightly lacking in magical defense, you can always trade the chest or leg piece for an arcane one, so that you keep the defense level set bonus, but gain some extra magical defense. Another option is to wear legs, boots and wrist as arcane, rest as heavy, and switch to foxform for increased tanking. This will also increase your hp with the Nirvana3 set bonus. Prepare to build as much chi as you can while tanking, so that you can frequently use damage reducing skills like Bramble Hood or Feral Concentration.

When chosen to be a charging distracting force, running in in foxform is suggested; use myriad rainbow while using befuddling mist on melee, fox wallop on arcane, amp and purge on tanks or high priorities, and so forth. Note: if you have the primal fox skills which combine the foxform skills, just use them as often as you can on needed targets. Also, Primal Malefic Crush has the new paralyze skill, making it great from random group-knock-overs. As you run in, a good idea is to have some dmg reduction up, so you can run back out with limbs and tail intact, lol.

As a headhunter, you want to first take away all buffs on one target, and preparing them for the kill. Genies and pets can help keep someone locked while you apply necessary debuffs. Remember that Bewitch takes clerics out of Violet Dance mode, barbs out of True Form, etc. Then stunlock, and fire away with all weapons! To take out a target as fast as possible, you may need to bait out genie first, then stunlock and apply force.

1v1s are a different beastie altogether, lol.
I'll give a general overview of each class and strategies, but more in depth questions I can answer as they come. =)

Blademaster

Come in many shapes and sizes, but the consistent things here are marrows, stuns, and defense debuffs. If they magic marrow, which is most likely, remember that their physical defense is weakened, opening them up for ironwood and bleed and other physical hits. Stuns depend on the BM. Some suck at stuns, while others lock so hard you need to level your lockpicking skill. Assuming they are pro stunlockers, remember that they operate on a rotating 15 second chain. Count 6 seconds from their roar and have a pet stun them or time a fortify, and break their chain that way. Prediction is key. Watch for their signature skill, heaven's flame(axe)/glacial spike(for pike BM), which tells you intent to kill combo. Sage venos can purify HF with sprint, demons can immune/kite/etc. You have an advantage in these fights--you can wear heavy armor, and all their attacks are physical.

Wizard
These excel in charm bypasses, and massive hits. Most are arcane, so pets and physical hits hurt them a lot. Wear full arcane though. One of their favorite kill combos is genie spark+undine strike + blade tempest. You can purify spark/undine strike as a sage, other options are to use genie to avoid fire damage. Remember that this skill also hits physical, though, so be careful. After dropping this combo, though, they are highly vulnerable. Feel free to charge them in foxform and freeze them in place, but mind you they can kite fairly well. Work in tandem with your pet to keep them pinned so you can apply debuffs and go for the kill.

Archer

Key here is range. You cannot outrange them, so don't try; you'll get hurt. lol. Remember that they will almost always start off physical, but if they learn you have better phys resist, they will try metal attacks, of which they have a few. Suggestion is to wear chest and legs heavy, and the rest arcane. Charge them in foxform, remembering that they hit at half damage at <5 meters. Keep them from kiting as much as possible, but remember they have many anti-stuns. Seal is your friend when they antistun, keep close as you can while tossing out hard hits. Watch the random purge, and keep some defense in reserve.

Cleric
These are annoying to fight. Besides SoG, they also have a sleep and freeze for a really long duration. Keys here are prediction and chi-draining. Most will open with a SoG, which except for silence-immunity, will make you unable to do anything. They will often try to kill your pet while you are frozen, then start stacking debuffs on you. Some clerics will toss out a sleep almost immediately, while others wait until the end of 15 seconds. If they wait, try to time an antistun or purify for the end of the SoG. If not, you can try to use genie or other such to get out of sleep, even resort to having something nearby attack you if needed. Once you are out of the initial lock, immediately stun, and keep them locked for as long as you can. Drain as much chi as possible; if they do not have a purify weapon, use crush vigor and chi burn and aps them with your pet briefly. Remember, they need 1 spark for SoG. Purge and amp and keep them locked as much as you can. Suggestion is to wear chest heavy for their spammable plume shot, but rest arcane. If they have too many debuffs on you, purify what you can.

Veno
Depends on what kind, lol! Adapt to fight whoever, remembering that many things are predictable, and they know it too. You can sometimes bait genie action by pretending to purge then cancelling. Remember the debuffs thrown at you, and predict counters.

Barbarian: High hp pool, high attack, annoying. Key here is endurance and timing. Most barbs have such high hp that you can't kill them outright, and if you come close they turtle-shell up. A couple tips and tricks: wear all heavy. They only have phys attacks; this will hamper their efforts a lot. If they invoke, you
Post edited by Myerna - Raging Tide on
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Comments

  • Desdi - SanctuaryDesdi - Sanctuary Posts: 8,680 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Seems pretty good but I have a few suggestions that you may or may not want to follow:

    Play around with the font sizes, especially when it comes to the titles of each section so that people can easily find the sections they are most interested in or if they want to re-read a certain part of your guide.

    I'd suggest you to avoid using red font and change it to something else. Red is annoying and hurts the eyes, people might be less likely to read what you've written there. :(

    It's better if you use the PWI names for each class, I know you put the terms at the top but it might still be confusing to some. That's up to you though.

    Additionally here's a few things that should be corrected:
    Demon spark doesn't give channeling. Sage Venomancers have better DPS in human form in PvE because they can build chi with Venomous Scarab and triple spark more, their triple spark also gives them a bigger magic attack boost. On the other hand, if the person is DDing in Fox Form, Demon would have an advantage with Crush Vigor, Grudge Strike/Dark Taboo (after they've learnt the skills) and the bigger boost in physical attack from Demon triple spark. Plus more +crit from masteries that compliment the higher crit the build has by nature due to needing to stat dex. This is something you might want to mention.

    Demon Ironwood that reduces the opponent's physical defence to 0 is also used with Arcane Antinomy skill. It might lead people into thinking they need pets for this combo but pets are often dead, especially if it's not equipped with self buffs and such. This combo works for Sages too if they proc Myriad but it won't be as effective (still decent vs. AA though).

    Demon spark is 700% magic and 650% physical. Sage spark is 900% magic and 500% physical. Sage Venomous gives 30 Chi, not 40. The chance is 20% as far as I know, not 25%.

    Where you mention Amplify, Demon is 25%, not sure if you mention 20% in comparison to just lvl10 or as a difference from Demon one.

    I'd personally not mention the stunlock for Sages. Lucky Scarab does last 4 seconds but Demon is 2 seconds shorter (at 3sec stun) and a lot of Venomancers have monkey pets nowadays which improves their stunlock ability a lot. Instead I'd mention the AOE purge which is nice for group PvP.

    I wouldn't say Sage has a particular advantage with physical defence and Fox Form these days though because we have passives, cards, nuemas and all that stuff and magic hurts just as much, but it's a good option for those with lesser refines/shards/cards etc. for a cheap way to up their physical defence.
    Instead you could emphasize even more the fact that they get great chi building or that it's a good choice for those that want to play purely support as Demon is a little more offensive (due to human form debuffs).


    As for the rest, I don't have that much HA experience anymore so I can't comment b:chuckle
    [SIGPIC]http://i.imgur.com/MtwcqjL.png[/SIGPIC]
    ★ Venomancer videos - tinyurl.com/k6ppkw4 ★ Desdi - Demon ♪ Wyvelin - Sage ★
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Thanks so much for the feedback!

    Sorry there were so many issues b:surrender
    I don't have much experience with demon, and someone told me they had increased chan, so I guess I just believed that, lol.
    Well I was aware of some of the skill combos and other points, such as ironwood+arcane antimony, I did not mention those since I didn't want to be exhaustive. =) But if you mention them, they're probably important, so I put them in. ^_^
    I implemented most of the changes you mentioned; hopefully it's better now. ^_^

    Always looking for ways to improve. b:cute
  • Desdi - SanctuaryDesdi - Sanctuary Posts: 8,680 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Just wanted to say that I realised later by 40Chi you meant 30Chi + 10Chi >.> my bad, but it's usually better to mention the additional chi in top of the default chi the skill gives as it might mislead people (one could easily mistake Sage Venomous for 40 Chi + 10 default Chi and then think it's 50 Chi XD).
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  • Mauntille - Heavens TearMauntille - Heavens Tear Posts: 694 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Overall, not bad. I'll be adding this to the useful links thread shortly.

    Quick caveat to my feedback- I started going thru this before Desdi's initial reply, so there may be some duplicate and/or items you've already fixed. I tried to remove them, but something might have slipped thru.
    Table of Contents (sort of! =P )
    Warnings: Though I have color coded this for easier reading, this is still a wall of text, lol. It also has sections, so use those for easier navigation. ^_^ However, I will also tl;dr on request.
    This does include a bit of random commentary on my part. =P

    Purely an aesthetics preference, but I'd alter your toc into major/minor sections and adjust the font sizes for the headings (further down). Adding a blank line after your headings can help break up the subject and the content a little more, making it easier to reference specific sections at a later time.

    The color coding is a nice touch and appreciated, altho personally I'd go for lighter colors than some of the ones you used. With some of the darker colors (mainly the dark purple and the dark red) there isn't enough contrast to comfortably read the post. But then, my eyes are kinda screwed up, so it probably isn't as big of a deal to most, just something to keep in mind when writing guides in general.

    Terms used: Ones that some readers may not have a familiarity with are:
    Werebeast = Barbarian

    I agree with Desdi on changing the PW-MY references. Things like "HH" are probably okay since they're still widely used on some servers, but terms like Werebeast, Werefox, and Perdition are a little out dated. To be quite frank, the people who will be getting the most use of this guide will be those that haven't been playing since PW-MY times, so using this terminology only adds to potential confusion.

    As many of you know, Rei did an awesome guide for HA/AA venos some time ago, listed here . However, there have been tons of changes to the mechanics and methods of PWI since then, and the world has changed a lot for venos.

    Since you're referencing threads, you might also want to link to some of the more recent threads, or at least site them in a footnote somewhere as well. The ones I had in mind are at the top of this post. While those aren't guides, per say, they do contain good information and input from the community in general.

    More complex playstyle. Since this build takes full advantage of both foxform and human form, and involves some complex combos and situation reading, this can be more difficult than simply magic DDing and switching to fox for purge and amp.

    I have a hard time listing this as a con to the build itself. If anything, it should be listed as a con to the class. Even that is a stretch for me since I like the extra challenge of playing a complex class.

    But really, a veno that doesn't use fox skills beyond the basic purge and amp really isn't living up to their full potential. That goes for HA, LA, and AA. IMO, it's like a cleric that doesn't bother to get attack skills or an archer who doesn't bother to get their metal attacks or an assassin who doesn't bother to get fish form.

    Well, maybe not that last one.

    More expensive. Since you should hopefully have at least two full sets of armor, full heavy and full robe, this is a more expensive style. Also, if you invest in tomes or other such stat-giving equipments to make stat allocation easier, this can add to the expense.

    This is only true if you aren't sharing the gear amongst multiple character, which is so common these days that it's hard to discount. I actually changed from pure magic to a HA build recently because my veno and seeker are on the same account and it was cheaper for me to max out my seeker's gear and stash it over than to update my veno's severely out of date gear (two year hiatus). I still have my old AA gear and my cleric's (better AA) gear when I want it.

    While this isn't an option if your other characters are r9, the practice of gear stashing is a big reason why many people choose against r9.

    Incredible versatility. You can do everything! I mean that rather literally, as I have, in HH70 gear(HH80/90 weap), done everything in a Frost run, from tanking to full pulls to healing my pet when it tanks, alongside all the normals of buffing and debuffing and transferring sparks and luring, while still managing to be one of the highest damage dealers, frequently pulling agro from the other squadmates.
    But yes, you can tank when you pull agro from your pets or squadmates, and do pulls to shame some werebeasts, and don't have to kite like a crazy veno when you pull agro of all the phys mobs, lol. You also can survive the aoes which some squishier squadmates can't.

    There are two traps you're starting to fall into here:

    1. Using FF as an example of something easily done. Yes, you've sited your gear/weapon, but you've neglected your level and how the squad was set up. With certain squads, I did everything you listed here on my AA veno, also in TT70 gear. Even a naked level 1 character can pull the full big room with enough coordinated immunity as long as someone else with high DD can one or two shot the mobs when they arrive at the zhen point. I'm not saying that HA doesn't provide more versatility or that it doesn't make some of the things listed easier, I'd just be careful about using such an easy instance as a showcase for how awesome a build is.

    2. Claiming to frequently pull aggro from squadmates. While it's possible to pull aggro from squadmates, I have a hard time believing that a veno will do so regularly. If so, it generally means that the veno outgears the rest of the squad. Similarly, claiming to do pulls that shame some barbs really only points out that there are some fail barbs that exist. If you're going to make an unbiased comparison of classes and ability, you have to assume two things: equal characters (by which I mean levels, reawakens, skill levels, genies, gear grade/refine/sharding, etc) and equal player competence. If you were to say that HA veno can pull just as well as a barb in many instances, I'd have no problem with your assertion, but claiming that venos can put barbs to shame isn't a fair comparison of the barb class.

    Dynamic playstyle.As mentioned before, this build takes full advantage of foxform and human form. To fully utilize both, there is a lot of combos and switching forms involved, which leads to consistent action. This, though challenging, can be rewarding when mastered. ^_^

    Similar to above, this is more of a class feature than a build feature. There are some very nifty things you can do with fox skills + mage skills for AA builds.

    Skyrocketed defenses. As this is often a pivotal reason that some choose this build, this is important to mention, even though it is fairly self-explanatory.
    {I did some tests with a werebeast friend of mine (r9rr armor, nirvanva3+10 weapon, 50k hp standing form with tree of protection), who devoured, used tree of protection, then used perdition on me, while I was wearing HH70 heavy in foxform for a 10k normal, 20k crit. Compare this to a nirvana3 arcane friend he used the same combination on, who took 22k normal damage(44k crit).}

    I believe your numbers, but I think your test is flawed. For one, we know nothing about this arcane friend except that they had Nirvana S3 armor.

    A better comparison would be for you to wear your HA TT70 set in fox form and have your barb friend use his Arma combo and then for you to switch to your AA TT70 set (ideally with comparable sharding and refines), and repeat the test. Otherwise, there are far too many variables to consider: passive defense levels, buffs (fox form provides additional phys. defense that the arcane friend may not have), quality of ornaments, etc.

    Also, since it's so easy to get to 100 these days, it's probably best to make the comparison in better quality gear than in TT70. If you wear TT70 to a level 100+ instance, you'll get yourself laughed out of the squad. Instead of using TT70, I'd recomend using Nirvana S2. It's relatively cheap and quick to acquire and is much closer to what people will be wearing.

    Increased solo and team capability. Because of increased survivability and versatility, you can solo more things without fear of death or need of a stronger pet, since you can tank the things you need to. You also can fill in the slack if a squad is lacking, as mentioned above. This can be anything from defending earth pavilion to tanking in HH to healing mystic pets.

    You might want to take out the healing mystic pets part. AA venos will have a higher magic attack resulting in a stronger heal. If you're in a situation where you're healing a mystic's pet, you won't be tanking anything more than an AoE or random aggro attack, and AA armor can survive those fairly easily, so this is not really a selling point for a HA build.

    3) Not actually suggested, but it's an option--you can stretch and plan your stats according to certain stat giving equipments, and possibly hold armor and weapons equal to your level. This involves a lot of forethought and planning, and while offers the greatest possible benefits, is also quite difficult and may require a restat or two.

    I'm actually a little surprised you don't suggest this. Planning ahead can actually prevent needing a restat while still allowing you to wear both a weapon and armor at your level. One of the most important things in lower level HA builds is to seek out gear that has attribute adds. For example, the Mogwai Belt is a commonly sited source of stat points as it grants between 15 and 18 points and is fairly easy to acquire.

    Similarly, you could compare the Cuisses of Sea Captain (Level 77 Mold HA Pants) and the Tiger Roar Leggings (TT80 HA Pants). The Cuisses of Sea Captain require 7 less strength and 1 less dexterity point to equip them as well as granting 8-10 stat points to strength and magic. If you planned ahead and decided on the Cuisses of Sea Captain over the Tiger Roar Leggings, you'd end up having more stat points to play around with to get your other gear equipped.

    You may have assumed it was a given, but getting a tome with a single stat (unless you're getting a Pan Gu or higher which isn't reasonable for a low level) is also highly beneficial. I specifically mention single stat since the ones with multiple stats are always split with vitality, which isn't a requirement to wear anything.

    Also worth mentioning are ring engravings. These are fairly cheap (tokens + item from the Jewelcraftsman) and can give you a few more stats to play around with.

    What weapons should I aim for? Always an important thing to know.
    To give you a basic rundown, the 4 possible magic weapons for you are:

    Wand--most consistent damage, but also lowest damage.
    Magic Sword--average damage, spike damage, and consistency.
    Glaive--slightly inconsistent damage, but good range and decent spike damage.
    Pataka--least consistent damage, but highest possible spike damage.


    So what weapons are best for this style?

    Though in the end it is always a question of playstyle and preference, the best weapons in my opinion, especially for this build, are the magic sword and pataka. Why?
    The magic sword has the highest physical damage (when taking aps into account) of all the magic weapons, and is consistent damage-wise. This is quite powerful when used right.
    The pataka has the highest spike damage, and when tossing out magic attacks, sometimes it can be nice to have hits which rival other magic DD classes. It doesn't lack in damage, and if you don't mind slightly less predictability, it can be quite effective.
    On a side note, venos with patakas just look pretty darn awesome, lol. So sassy! >.>

    Two other things worth mentioning- stat requirements and attack speed.

    The stat requirements are slightly different for each weapon type (using Nirvana S2 as an example set):

    Silence of Frost, Pataka. Requires 280 Magic and 56 Strength. Attack speed of 1
    Glaive of Nirvana, Glaive. Requires 297 Magic and 54 Strength. Attack speed of 1.25
    Sandy World, Magic Sword. Requires 285 Magic and 52 Strength. Attack speed of 1.25
    Foundation of World, Wand. Requires 289 Magic and 47 Strength. Attack speed of 1.25

    And for anyone who want the R9S3 option:
    Etherwalker, Pataka. Requires 298 Magic and 60 Strength. Attack speed of 1

    The attack speed is more important for venos who utilize fox form more, as they'll have plenty of auto attacks. Obviously, the R9S3 pataka hits hard enough that whatever loss in DPS you have from attack speed, you'll more than make up for with its monstrous DPH. But if you aren't taking your veno the R9 route, it's something worth considering.

    Weapons and Armor choices.
    Some of the best armor and weapon alternatives to R9 are stage 3 Nirvana weapons and armor. To give you an idea of their requirements and stats:

    Stage 3 pataka:
    ?Silence of Frost
    Level: 100
    Strength: 56
    Magic: 280
    Physical Attack: 844-1032
    Magic Attack: 1023-1900
    (guaranteed attack level +40)


    Stage 3 magic sword:
    ?Sandy World
    Level: 100
    Strength: 52
    Magic: 285
    Physical Attack: 721-1080
    Magic Attack: 1316-1608
    (guaranteed attack level +40)

    Guess you did address the requirements. This is what I get for not reading ahead... b:surrender

    That said, you may want to add links to Perfect World Database and possibly PWCalc.

    Demon's get speed benefits from foxform, making this a viable choice for when you are pulling.

    The speed boost is actually only on transformation, so for longer pulls, you'd have to pop back up into mage form to sustain that speed. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not.

    Demon Nova gives a mini-Heaven's-Flame, making it possible to drop mobs faster on large pulls.

    A minor quibble, but it's only a chance at the curse debuff. So don't expect it to land on everything 100%.

    Demon Venemous drops wood defense, making your magical hits often just as hard as other magic DDs.
    Demon Summer Sprint is an antistun, making this a quite useful skill in general (the only other antistun we have is Natural Synergy).

    These are great reasons to go demon. However, I don't see them as particularly benefiting a HA build over an AA build.

    Sage foxform also has increased accuracy and physical defense over demon, making your HA that much more effective.

    Playing devil's advocate here, but you can also argue that AA benefits from this more than HA does. With the passives and quality of the gear available, it's much easier to cap out your defenses. Some of this extra phys def could potentially be ignored since a HA build could be close or at the cap. Since an AA build doesn't have as much phys defense as a HA build, they're able to take full (or at least more) advantage of the boost.

    Sage Venemous has a 20% chance of getting 40 chi per usage(30 additional chi from the normal 10; it does work this way, yes =P ), instead of just 10.
    Master Li's tech allows 50 chi every 60 seconds.
    Sage spark gives 900% magic damage(500% physical boost), allowing you to out-DD many magic classes in raw power hits; combined with the ability to get 3 sparks in a fairly short duration of time, this can be used to consistently pour out high damage.
    Sage Lucky scarab lasts 4 seconds, creating a chance for an easier stunlock, though one might stun primarily with pets as well.
    Sage purge has a 5 meter radius, allowing some good usage in group pvp. =)
    Sage amp gives 30% boost instead of just 20%; though demon is 25% as should be noted. =)
    Sage summer sprint clears all purify-able debuffs, which is great when gank-tanking.

    More minor quibbles but:
    1. I'd be very cautious in making claims that your extra magic damage from sage spark allows you to hit higher DPH than many magic classes.
    2. Sage summer sprint only purifies when you can cast it. So while most stuns are purifiable, you can't purify yourself of it with sage sprint because you can't cast it.


    The remaining sections look pretty good. I don't have the time to go thru them in detail, but nothing jumped out at me.
  • Desdi - SanctuaryDesdi - Sanctuary Posts: 8,680 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    At 95% chance on Parasitic Nova, however, the curse gets applied most of the time. It is very rare in PvP that it doesn't work, though yeah it's not 100%.

    On another note, maybe you should mention the Primal updates of Fox Form skills will always hit so that makes the accuracy needless at that point unless you're auto-attacking. Almost all the bosses in the newer instances have anti-aps /anti-auto attack buff though so you will not want to auto-attack anyway. Of course, until you get to that point, accuracy plays a role.

    Also, I'll have to agree with Mauntille. Perhaps, you should focus more on what each cultivation has to offer for that particular build like how Demon offers more physical damage from triple sparking, even more crit due to masteries, human form debuffs that give you a better chance at killing people considering your magic attack is lower compared to AA builds.

    Then you have Sage that gives you better accuracy (till Primal update at least), even better physical defence boost and the bigger boost in magic attack from triple spark helps you DD better in human. The other things you mention are good and all but I suppose someone reading this guide would be more interested in how the paths affect this build o.o
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  • Marengo - Lost CityMarengo - Lost City Posts: 771 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    I haven't read whole guide yet, but what caught my eyes:
    As a sidenote, I'm really hoping that they will install armor switch macros sometimes soon *hint GMs hint*, which would be incredibly useful, since instead of having to slide across 6 keys, one would only have to press 1, or possibly even click it.
    I hope it will never happen, because it's double-edged feature which could be easily used against you, than you could use it against anybody else. Or you can just go for r9r weap for purify spell, but it leaves you without nv3 options and it's not far from r9r wep to full set which is definitely better than nv3 HA, so you will probably want to reconsider your build choice in this case.

    I wouldn't also recommend mix gear if you go for heavy armor, better stick to 1 set and improve it. Though it depends on your financial state, but not many venos would +10+12 both sets just to be able to switch it for occasional 1v1. In mass pvp you will never guess who is the higher threat for you atm unless number of enemies is limited.
    That HA has good hp is true, good mdef is also true, it depends on magic multiplied on your gear type (don't know exact formula, but I tested it).
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  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Mauntille:Thanks for the feedback! I'm still working on some of the changes, but I implemented several of the ones you mentioned.
    I will reply to your post in detail, but in a bit.

    Desdi: Ah, good point! In my next edit, I'll work on a more detailed Sage/Demon section (since that's the main thing people seem to have issues with), and mention some things about primal skills and foxform.

    Marengo: "I hope it will never happen, because it's double-edged feature which could be easily used against you, than you could use it against anybody else." This actually doesn't make much sense to me, would you please rephrase? How so, and what did you mean?
    As for the other points: I had mentioned that r9rr would not benefit as much from this build.
    Though sticking to one set is simpler and a good idea, it lacks half of what you can do this kind of build. I did mention that this is more expensive, though if you transfer gear it might not be as much. It does depend on financial state though. However, if one really only wants to work with one set of gear, might as well go pure arcane.
    Thanks for the input though!!
  • Marengo - Lost CityMarengo - Lost City Posts: 771 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    This actually doesn't make much sense to me, would you please rephrase? How so, and what did you mean?
    Sin switching his gear to aps in 1 click is too dangerous if you don't have purify spell weap. And we assume you don't. Even if we neglect BMs who dropped aps sets in favour of rank, sins are too numerous to ignore, and many of them carry old set for farming, out of habbit, or just because it's autobound anyway.
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  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Ah, I see. Well that makes sense to me; however to me the benefits outweigh the costs.

    1) Many sins already have an aps set, as you mentioned. They can already switch to it if they want. Making it 3 fewer button presses would mean little if they intended to use it.
    2) As someone able to use HA, aps bothers me a lot less than it would an AA. With normal aps set, it doesn't even do as much damage as a DPH sin. And if we assume it's a more dangerous combination, like aps with r9rr dag or t3 dag, even having purify might make little difference.
    3) Aps sets are squishy, which is why so many prefer DPH sets. In NW and TW, many sins kill themselves faster than me.

    Overall, equip-switch macros wouldn't change much that is already there, but simply make it easier. And it wouldn't hurt HA/AA venos as much as it would pure arcane/no purify. And if you have purify, not many try to aps you anyway. So I still think the benefits outweigh the costs, but I guess in the end it's personal opinion for both of us. =)
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    On a side note, have I done anything useful in this guide? Or anything that has helped anyone?

    I honestly appreciate the constructive criticism. I really do. It's really been helpful, and I think it's helped improve my writing. b:pleased

    But so far, no one has said anything that's actually good about what I have written or agreed with anything I said, making me wonder if I have even helped anyone at all...b:sad b:surrender
  • Mauntille - Heavens TearMauntille - Heavens Tear Posts: 694 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    I like the idea of idea of a gear swap icon (similar to fashion sets in the wardrobe). While it would make sins a little more dangerous, it'd be helpful to swap from offensive gear to more defensive gear quickly as well. For example, any arcane class might swap from channel ornaments to upgraded warsong/cube ornaments. It's situational, yes, but it does have it's merits. There would be a few interesting quirks that would require resolving as well (can't swap genies while in combat, should you be able to equip a new weapon when a seeker has disarmed you, etc.)

    If anything, it'd be nice to free up some slots on the skill bars.
    On a side note, have I done anything useful in this guide? Or anything that has helped anyone?

    I honestly appreciate the constructive criticism. I really do. It's really been helpful, and I think it's helped improve my writing. b:pleased

    But so far, no one has said anything that's actually good about what I have written or agreed with anything I said, making me wonder if I have even helped anyone at all...b:sad b:surrender

    It is a good guide, and I'd probably find it more helpful for myself if I hadn't been playing since '08 and experimenting with builds along the way. Judging by your postcount, I'm not sure if you're relatively new to the forums or have been more of a lurker, but the veno subforum has not always been the most friendly of places. The lack of "this guide sux" type comments implies that what you've submitted is good. Plus is almost always easier to point out negatives than positives. It'd be nice if it wasn't, but unfortunately that's part of human nature.
  • Desdi - SanctuaryDesdi - Sanctuary Posts: 8,680 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Yeah, it's pretty much like Mauntille said b:chuckle

    I did mention, however, that my experience with HA has a limit. I've experimented with a variety of different builds but I went for the R9rr pure magic route eventually and with all the latest updates and the like I have little experience to comment further so the most I can do is offer whatever feedback to possibly improve some aspects of the guide.

    Then it's also the fact that I'm an old fossil around here as well so most things aren't new to me but if I was a newer player I'd probably find it pretty useful, especially since it's more up to date than Rei's old guide. I think you've done a good job. Perhaps a few tweaks here and there (mostly what Mauntille said) and I'll poke one of the Mods, might be time to replace Rei's guide (It's very good that you link back to that guide so if it gets replaced by this one people can still find it). I feel bad for replacing old guides but..some stuff just become outdated D:

    Forums have been rather quiet the past few days though hence the lack of comments but I'm positive there are a lot of lurkers around.
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  • opkossyopkossy Posts: 11,177 Community Moderator
    edited April 2014
    As an old player who enjoys my heavy/robe veno very much... you've done a nice job from what I've seen skimming. When I get the time and opportunity to go through it completely, I'll post more of my thoughts.

    That shall also be the time that it replaces the old guide in the stickies.
    (Insert fancy image here)
    image
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    To finally respond in more detail to your original reply:
    my replies are in blue. =)
    Most of the other things I implemented and/or made a note for. =)


    There are two traps you're starting to fall into here:

    1. Using FF as an example of something easily done. Yes, you've sited your gear/weapon, but you've neglected your level and how the squad was set up. With certain squads, I did everything you listed here on my AA veno, also in TT70 gear. Even a naked level 1 character can pull the full big room with enough coordinated immunity as long as someone else with high DD can one or two shot the mobs when they arrive at the zhen point. I'm not saying that HA doesn't provide more versatility or that it doesn't make some of the things listed easier, I'd just be careful about using such an easy instance as a showcase for how awesome a build is.

    I added a note mentioning that I picked Frost more because it was often a class-separated instance. Though you are correct for the most part. =) However, it is a well known instance, even to those below 100, and serves the example purpose. If you have an example you would prefer to use or know someone who has one, I would gladly borrow it. =)

    2. Claiming to frequently pull aggro from squadmates. While it's possible to pull aggro from squadmates, I have a hard time believing that a veno will do so regularly. If so, it generally means that the veno outgears the rest of the squad. Similarly, claiming to do pulls that shame some barbs really only points out that there are some fail barbs that exist. If you're going to make an unbiased comparison of classes and ability, you have to assume two things: equal characters (by which I mean levels, reawakens, skill levels, genies, gear grade/refine/sharding, etc) and equal player competence. If you were to say that HA veno can pull just as well as a barb in many instances, I'd have no problem with your assertion, but claiming that venos can put barbs to shame isn't a fair comparison of the barb class.

    This was just a personal example. My squad did have equal gear (in some cases better gear), but I still managed to pull agro frequently(we did not have a barb though). I did not mean to imply that people should expect to pull agro frequently, but rather give an example that I still did, to point out that HA/AA doesn't nerf damage to the extreme.

    About the barbs--I had no intent of pointing out fail barbs. I know people can't read inflection over the internet, but the statement was meant as hyperbole for amusement/making a point about venos, rather than to state anything about the barb class itself. Sorry if it came across wrong. =/



    I believe your numbers, but I think your test is flawed. For one, we know nothing about this arcane friend except that they had Nirvana S3 armor.
    Sadly, that's all the info I had either.
    A better comparison would be for you to wear your HA TT70 set in fox form and have your barb friend use his Arma combo and then for you to switch to your AA TT70 set (ideally with comparable sharding and refines), and repeat the test. Otherwise, there are far too many variables to consider: passive defense levels, buffs (fox form provides additional phys. defense that the arcane friend may not have), quality of ornaments, etc.
    Also, since it's so easy to get to 100 these days, it's probably best to make the comparison in better quality gear than in TT70. If you wear TT70 to a level 100+ instance, you'll get yourself laughed out of the squad. Instead of using TT70, I'd recomend using Nirvana S2. It's relatively cheap and quick to acquire and is much closer to what people will be wearing.

    Sorry--the test was not meant to be a tried and true numbers deal or anything. It was really only there as an example to point out the defense difference. If needed, I can add a actual numbers example though. =)



    I'm actually a little surprised you don't suggest this. Planning ahead can actually prevent needing a restat while still allowing you to wear both a weapon and armor at your level. One of the most important things in lower level HA builds is to seek out gear that has attribute adds.
    You may have assumed it was a given, but getting a tome with a single stat (unless you're getting a Pan Gu or higher which isn't reasonable for a low level) is also highly beneficial. I specifically mention single stat since the ones with multiple stats are always split with vitality, which isn't a requirement to wear anything.
    Also worth mentioning are ring engravings. These are fairly cheap (tokens + item from the Jewelcraftsman) and can give you a few more stats to play around with.

    Taken into account. Pretty much just added a note about this section to explain in more detail. =)

    That said, you may want to add links to Perfect World Database and possibly PWCalc.

    Sure thing! Any particular thing you would like in PWCalc? Like did you mean builds, or weapons, or what?


    The speed boost is actually only on transformation, so for longer pulls, you'd have to pop back up into mage form to sustain that speed. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not.
    A minor quibble, but it's only a chance at the curse debuff. So don't expect it to land on everything 100%.
    2. Sage summer sprint only purifies when you can cast it. So while most stuns are purifiable, you can't purify yourself of it with sage sprint because you can't cast it.

    All of these are quite true, but I think most people know them too, which is why I did not say anything in particular.


    These are great reasons to go demon. However, I don't see them as particularly benefiting a HA build over an AA build.

    Playing devil's advocate here, but you can also argue that AA benefits from this more than HA does. With the passives and quality of the gear available, it's much easier to cap out your defenses. Some of this extra phys def could potentially be ignored since a HA build could be close or at the cap. Since an AA build doesn't have as much phys defense as a HA build, they're able to take full (or at least more) advantage of the boost.

    In the new and expanded section that I'm writing about sage/demon, I'll hopefully cover these things in more depth.


    More minor quibbles but:
    1. I'd be very cautious in making claims that your extra magic damage from sage spark allows you to hit higher DPH than many magic classes.

    Duly noted. Though as your magic attack gain from spark is nearly double some classes, I did mention it, since as a sage I can spark fairly often, resulting in a higher DPH.

    Overall, I agree a lot with everything you said. You take most of it rather literally, so--I'll try to write more clearly in the future though. =)
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited April 2014

    It is a good guide, and I'd probably find it more helpful for myself if I hadn't been playing since '08 and experimenting with builds along the way. Judging by your postcount, I'm not sure if you're relatively new to the forums or have been more of a lurker, but the veno subforum has not always been the most friendly of places. The lack of "this guide sux" type comments implies that what you've submitted is good. Plus is almost always easier to point out negatives than positives. It'd be nice if it wasn't, but unfortunately that's part of human nature.

    Thanks for clarifying!
    No worries--I figured older players already had an idea of the pros/cons, so I wrote it mainly for those that didn't know. =) I do appreciate your experience, though.
    My postcount is more due to lurking, lol. Been playing for years on end, but didn't often to post in the forums, since there were many great people who answered most people's questions, and I never needed to say much. b:pleased
    I do appreciate the encouragement. =) And yeah, you're right about human nature. =P Though I guess there are always ways to improve! b:victory
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    Yeah, it's pretty much like Mauntille said b:chuckle

    I did mention, however, that my experience with HA has a limit. I've experimented with a variety of different builds but I went for the R9rr pure magic route eventually and with all the latest updates and the like I have little experience to comment further so the most I can do is offer whatever feedback to possibly improve some aspects of the guide.

    Then it's also the fact that I'm an old fossil around here as well so most things aren't new to me but if I was a newer player I'd probably find it pretty useful, especially since it's more up to date than Rei's old guide. I think you've done a good job. Perhaps a few tweaks here and there (mostly what Mauntille said) and I'll poke one of the Mods, might be time to replace Rei's guide (It's very good that you link back to that guide so if it gets replaced by this one people can still find it). I feel bad for replacing old guides but..some stuff just become outdated D:

    Forums have been rather quiet the past few days though hence the lack of comments but I'm positive there are a lot of lurkers around.

    Hehe. I always appreciate the advice of my veno 'elders'--though I don't think you are as outdated as you make yourself out to be, lol.

    Still tweaking! Let me know if anything else needs to be changed in particular. =)
    And yeah, I hear you on the old guides. Pretty much the only reason I started this one was because someone back in the forums asked for an updated HA/AA guide, hehe.

    Thanks again! b:pleased




    Kossy: I appreciate it!! I'll keep an eye out for your comments so I can keep improving. =)
  • Mayfly - DreamweaverMayfly - Dreamweaver Posts: 6,094 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    You might mention autocultivation... a heavy veno in fox can autocultivate until her weapon breaks (or gets stuck somewhere and dies... but that can happen to any class) using just leach (or the primal upgrade to leach, whose name escapes me at the moment, dark something) to regain HP and triple spark to regain mana, without using charms or autopot stones.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    You might mention autocultivation... a heavy veno in fox can autocultivate until her weapon breaks (or gets stuck somewhere and dies... but that can happen to any class) using just leach (or the primal upgrade to leach, whose name escapes me at the moment, dark something) to regain HP and triple spark to regain mana, without using charms or autopot stones.

    Put that in! Thanks for the note, that is a great point! It always annoyed me that most toons needed autopot/charms for autoculti; this is rather nice to consider. =)
  • Raujada - ArchosaurRaujada - Archosaur Posts: 65 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    This guide is great, thank you for posting! :)

    Just for question, is there any youtube channel about heavu build veno videos?
  • Raujada - ArchosaurRaujada - Archosaur Posts: 65 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    So, remaining on the armor discussion... a heavy veno must be able to wear 99 lvl magic gears, but it can use lowest lvl heavy armor like 90 or 80 if it have to put something more on mag, right?

    I know Myerna suggested to not plan too much on stats, but I can't help... XD even just a lvl 80 heavy armor require 246 to str and 50 to dex. That's a lot to me O_O would the remaining points be enough for mag?
  • opkossyopkossy Posts: 11,177 Community Moderator
    edited May 2014
    So, remaining on the armor discussion... a heavy veno must be able to wear 99 lvl magic gears, but it can use lowest lvl heavy armor like 90 or 80 if it have to put something more on mag, right?

    I know Myerna suggested to not plan too much on stats, but I can't help... XD even just a lvl 80 heavy armor require 246 to str and 50 to dex. That's a lot to me O_O would the remaining points be enough for mag?

    Nah. You'd be using an at-level weapon and armor. It's all about taking advantage of +stat on gear (though reawakening makes this much easier as do war avatar cards).

    http://pwcalc.com/9fc646db12df8e29 for example, is an old calc I made from 3 or 4 years ago that shows having an at-level weapon and armor with very cheap and basic stuff and without really attempting to optimize. And this was before we had engraves, double reawakening, war avatars, meridians, and so on and so forth.

    The main difficulty with this build is keeping up on the +stat gear and that's much easier nowadays. However, because it's so difficult, that's why it's not usually recommended from level 1 since your gear won't be completely predictable when it comes to the bonuses and requirements it will have. From level 70 on, however, TT gear becomes a thing we can access and with it, you suddenly will have a much easier time because you can plan in advance much easier than before.
    (Insert fancy image here)
    image
  • Mauntille - Heavens TearMauntille - Heavens Tear Posts: 694 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    opkossy wrote: »
    The main difficulty with this build is keeping up on the +stat gear and that's much easier nowadays. However, because it's so difficult, that's why it's not usually recommended from level 1 since your gear won't be completely predictable when it comes to the bonuses and requirements it will have. From level 70 on, however, TT gear becomes a thing we can access and with it, you suddenly will have a much easier time because you can plan in advance much easier than before.

    This, altho I'd also recommend looking at molds and the easier to acquire pack gear as well- anything that has reliable stats. TT is a great option, but there are also comparable options and many people get so bogged down in the idea of needing a full set of TTX gear that they completely ignore the rest of the available gear.

    Here are a few sample builds that I played around awhile ago (not necessarily the best, just something I thought would be relatively easy to acquire):

    Level 70
    Level 80
    Level 90
    Level 100, HA w/ -int bias
    Level 101, HA NS3
    Level 101, HA NS3 w/ R9RRW

    A quick note on those builds: these are some sample builds that I used to make some theoretical class damage comparisons, so they have level 10 barb/cleric buffs turned on. It's important to make sure you turn these off when comparing with other builds that don't have them enabled.

    These are the human form version of the builds, which means that the fox form buff is turned off and the weapons are sharded with sapphires.

    General rules I followed when creating these builds:
    - Veno builds have different shards for fox/human form (not typical, but possible)
    - Level 2 tome for 70, 80, 90
    - Pan Gu tome for int/chan, NS3, R9RRW
    - Ring Engravings for int/chan, NS3, R9RRW
    - Minimum stats
    - flawless for 70, 80, 90, int/chan
    - incomp for NS3, R9RRW
    - +5 for 70, 80, 90
    - +7 for int/chan, NS3, R9RRW
    - int/chan builds use NS2
    - builds < level 100 are assumed not reawakened
  • Raujada - ArchosaurRaujada - Archosaur Posts: 65 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    Wooow, that's extremely useful Mauntille! Thank you so much! :D it seems fair to me. So, with this build you're more human form and your best damage comes from magic, but switch to fox to tank, right? Would you use a alternative magic set when needed, to make more damage in human form?
  • Mauntille - Heavens TearMauntille - Heavens Tear Posts: 694 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    Wooow, that's extremely useful Mauntille! Thank you so much! :D it seems fair to me.

    Glad those could help!

    So I guess I should explain my caveat about those being my "human form" version.

    The full story:
    Basically, I got frustrated with seeing people make claims of "I always hold aggro against X, Y, or Z", when my own experiences with those classes doesn't support those claims. (One example is that Venos hold aggro over Sins.) To be fair, there are a lot, and I do mean a lot, of people who do not take full advantage of their class. To make an honest comparison between classes, you need to assume both equivalent gear and equivalent player skill. I had a rough idea of how the classes should be ranked against each other, just from personal experience, but I wanted to see if there were any decent numbers that would back that up. So I ended up with over 100 total PW Calcs with normalized gear for each class at level 70, 80, 90, and 3 near-endgame builds (-int/channel, Full Nirvana Stage 3, and Full Nirvana Stage 3 Armor with the Rank 9 Stage 3 weapon). Since this was an attempt to maximize damage, and since venos have their skills split between dealing magic damage and dealing physical damage, I made multiple versions of the veno builds to determine the maximum possible damage or each skill and of auto attacking. So, for skills using foxform, I adjusted the active skills (Foxform, Melee Mastery) and adjusted gear slightly (focused on Might rings over Magic rings in some cases; changed weapon shards from Sapphires to Garnets). While this is possible, it's not really feasible. For example, it's not really common to carry two sets of the same weapon just so that you can have different shards in them. However, there's 0 added cost to resave an existing PWCalc with a few minor adjustments, so there was no harm in making the change to maximize my calculations. Since there is so little variation in these builds, and since it doesn't influence overall gear choice, I just grabbed the first versions of the HA builds.

    TL;DR:
    I went crazy with PWCalc one day and made lots of different builds to maximize damage output and saved all of the links. I was lazy when grabbing the links I already had and copied the first set.

    The full list of veno builds is:
    Build Desc.             PW Calc Link                            Phys Dmg    Mag Dmg     APS     crit    -chan   P.Weap Dmg  M.Weap Dmg
    70 Veno HA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/3959b38661e76fb2      1334        3821        1.33    3%      -0%     564         932
    80 Veno HA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/174dc3e8b6f57115      1796        4646        1.33    7%      -0%     910         1146
    90 Veno HA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/d4127d0aec3bd38d      2643        5765        1.05    11%     -3%     961         1358
    Int Veno HA Mage        http://pwcalc.com/f0ab2b710c971f16      4205        8637        2.22    14%     -1%     1396        1932
    NS3 Veno HA Mage        http://pwcalc.com/e420eea649988277      4728        9450        1.54    12%     -1%     1499        2111
    R9RRW Veno HA Mage*     http://pwcalc.com/832f09e50d9e4194      5016        10904       1.18    12%     -4%     1597        2269
    70 Veno HA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/c91ea640ecb7145a      2021        3723        1.33    3%      -0%     589         977
    80 Veno HA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/5a50d0518b2c4cff      2656        4542        1.33    7%      -0%     740         1121
    90 Veno HA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/78015e12dc6a4f69      3790        5657        1.05    11%     -3%     986         1333
    Int Veno HA Fox         http://pwcalc.com/0fe9b5b17835a3ac      5869        8524        2.22    14%     -1%     1421        1907
    NS3 Veno HA Fox         http://pwcalc.com/0d16c61b7f7c4ce2      6630        9223        1.54    12%     -1%     1549        2061
    R9RRW Veno HA Fox*      http://pwcalc.com/246e7e08b5938c6d      7256        10416       1.18    12%     -4%     2170        2169
    
    Build Desc.             PW Calc Link                            Phys Dmg    Mag Dmg     APS     crit    -chan   P.Weap Dmg  M.Weap Dmg
    70 Veno AA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/835fd65b9d959e88      856         5715        1.25    1%      -6%     585         1100
    80 Veno AA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/199dba7b40a522b8      1281        6622        1.25    7%      -12%    845         1214
    90 Veno AA Mage         http://pwcalc.com/c43e475800fe8375      1493        8422        1.25    8%      -18%    934         1381
    Chan Veno AA Mage       http://pwcalc.com/a252e4bf1c3c7a7c      1909        13174       1.33    9%      -62%    1196        1926
    NS3 Veno AA Mage        http://pwcalc.com/0db311efcb4d9dda      2122        14852       1.33    10%     -19%    1299        2105
    R9RRW Veno AA Mage      http://pwcalc.com/b16f52a865cd6038      2289        16431       1.05    10%     -22%    1397        2263
    70 Veno AA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/d6c9c90ad747dbd4      1543        5582        1.25    1%      -6%     610         1075
    80 Veno AA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/a74a3e1b457081de      2270        6482        1.25    7%      -12%    870         1189
    90 Veno AA Fox          http://pwcalc.com/9c583ea819fcaf10      2578        8265        1.25    8%      -18%    959         1356
    Chan Veno AA Fox        http://pwcalc.com/d7158487aa81ce00      3297        13000       1.33    9%      -62%    1221        1901
    NS3 Veno AA Fox         http://pwcalc.com/dec1ae2cf7fee6ef      3706        14493       1.33    10%     -19%    1349        2055
    R9RRW Veno AA Fox       http://pwcalc.com/87b2642b99309402      4135        15693       1.05    10%     -22%    1497        2163
    
    So, with this build you're more human form and your best damage comes from magic, but switch to fox to tank, right? Would you use a alternative magic set when needed, to make more damage in human form?

    So no, I wouldn't say that it's a comparison about what form gets used most or when, just the bias in which gems/rings/etc were influenced with. I actually don't know if I spend more time in fox form or more time in human form. It's actually pretty close to even. There are too many good skills in both trees to ignore either side. For example, Ironwood Scarab, Myriad Rainbow (Human), and Demon Parasitic Nova (useful but can't be relied upon) can all increase your fox form damage with Demon Frost Scarab (debatable) and Lucky Scarab can helping lock down a running target. The utilities (only usable in human form) are beneficial to all venos, regardless of if they are in human or fox. Purge and Amplify Damage are obvious skills that every primarily human form veno should still be using, but Myriad Rainbow (Fox), Stunning Blow, Leech, and Demon Fox Wallop are also very beneficial.

    In general, the human form skills take longer to cast/channel but provide a higher DPH. That said, the DPS between pure fox skills and pure human skills is a lot closer (once you add in spamability and auto-attacks to the fox form damage). However, the biggest damage that I've seen has been from combinations of both human/fox skills. One of my favorite combinations was (all Demon skills here, so ymmv) Amplify Damage -> Fox Wallop (until crit buff) -> Myriad Rainbow (Fox) -> Transform (Pet skill Howl during transformation if the Mind Break didn't land with Rainbow) -> Parasitic Nova -> [Venomous Scarab (situational) ->] Lucky Scarab -> Ironwood Scarab -> Myriad Rainbow (Human) -> Transform -> ???.

    I can't speak to the Sage or Primal skills yet, since it hasn't been a priority for me for my Veno yet, but it still stands to reason that a there are too many benefits from both trees to really justify not swapping back and forth pretty regularly.

    It is fairly common for HA venos to carry around either a full set of AA gear, or at least a handful of pieces. These really aren't for increasing your magic damage so much as for increasing your magic defense if the situation calls for it (for example: 1v1 against a Wizard, range tanking a magic damage dealing boss such as TT2-X Wurlord). I suppose that it's possible to switch your gear to something with Magic/Magic Attack adds when prepping to cast a spell, but I don't really think there's enough of a benefit damage wise to justify taking so long to swap gear.
  • Raujada - ArchosaurRaujada - Archosaur Posts: 65 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    O_O Gosh Mauntille... I would never have enough patience to do such a huge research. Thank you for sharing your work!
  • Mauntille - Heavens TearMauntille - Heavens Tear Posts: 694 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    O_O Gosh Mauntille... I would never have enough patience to do such a huge research. Thank you for sharing your work!

    To be honest, I wish I hadn't had time to do that...it really only happened because I was stuck in an elevator for 6 hours and was (un)lucky enough to have my laptop and extra battery with me and be close enough to a wifi hotspot. I've been toying with the idea of writing up the results and posting a thread about it, but some of my math was off, especially when it comes to DoT skills (Stormrage Eaglon looked a lot better than it should have) and there are a lot of caveats to the final rankings that too many people would skip over. Either way, it isn't a huge priority for me at the moment, but if I ever happen to get stuck in an elevator again, that may change...

    I suppose the other comparison from that exercise that's relevant to this thread is that Venos have a higher physical damage modifier and lower magical damage modifier than other magic classes. Here's the comparison between Clerics and Venos (other magic classes followed the same pattern as Clerics with the exception of Psychics, since they can only use Soulspheres. Oddly enough, the Soulshpere had higher physical weapon damage on average than any other magic weapon. Not that this does Venos who could actually use that damage or Physics who can use the weapon but not the damage any good.):
    Build Desc.             PW Calc Link                            Phys Dmg    Mag Dmg     APS     crit    -chan   P.Weap Dmg  M.Weap Dmg
    70 Veno AA Mage         [url]http://pwcalc.com/835fd65b9d959e88[/url]      856         5715        1.25    1%      -6%     585         1100
    80 Veno AA Mage         [url]http://pwcalc.com/199dba7b40a522b8[/url]      1281        6622        1.25    7%      -12%    845         1214
    90 Veno AA Mage         [url]http://pwcalc.com/c43e475800fe8375[/url]      1493        8422        1.25    8%      -18%    934         1381
    Chan Veno AA Mage       [url]http://pwcalc.com/a252e4bf1c3c7a7c[/url]      1909        13174       1.33    9%      -62%    1196        1926
    NS3 Veno AA Mage        [url]http://pwcalc.com/0db311efcb4d9dda[/url]      2122        14852       1.33    10%     -19%    1299        2105
    R9RRW Veno AA Mage      [url]http://pwcalc.com/b16f52a865cd6038[/url]      2289        16431       1.05    10%     -22%    1397        2263
    70 Veno AA Fox          [url]http://pwcalc.com/d6c9c90ad747dbd4[/url]      1543        5582        1.25    1%      -6%     610         1075
    80 Veno AA Fox          [url]http://pwcalc.com/a74a3e1b457081de[/url]      2270        6482        1.25    7%      -12%    870         1189
    90 Veno AA Fox          [url]http://pwcalc.com/9c583ea819fcaf10[/url]      2578        8265        1.25    8%      -18%    959         1356
    Chan Veno AA Fox        [url]http://pwcalc.com/d7158487aa81ce00[/url]      3297        13000       1.33    9%      -62%    1221        1901
    NS3 Veno AA Fox         [url]http://pwcalc.com/dec1ae2cf7fee6ef[/url]      3706        14493       1.33    10%     -19%    1349        2055
    R9RRW Veno AA Fox       [url]http://pwcalc.com/87b2642b99309402[/url]      4135        15693       1.05    10%     -22%    1497        2163
    
    Build Desc.             PW Calc Link                            Phys Dmg    Mag Dmg     APS     crit    -chan   P.Weap Dmg  M.Weap Dmg
    70 Cleric               [url]http://pwcalc.com/efe61f71abba9743[/url]      822         5844        1.25    1%      -6%     585         1100
    80 Cleric               [url]http://pwcalc.com/8d20182ef419d5bf[/url]      1241        6777        1.25    7%      -12%    845         1214
    90 Cleric               [url]http://pwcalc.com/4590dfe8c3ffa1e7[/url]      1444        8621        1.25    8%      -18%    934         1381
    Chan Cleric             [url]http://pwcalc.com/2cc88e7e05e735cb[/url]      1855        13424       1.33    9%      -62%    1196        1926
    NS3 Cleric              [url]http://pwcalc.com/21cf2ccc187058a8[/url]      2066        15113       1.33    10%     -19%    1299        2105
    R9RRW Cleric            [url]http://pwcalc.com/f7dd326847284ebb[/url]      2072        16996       1.33    10%     -22%    1202        2303
    

    Each of those have the same gear/stat allocation (except on class restricted gear, where it varies ever so slightly). I didn't find any documentation to confirm this, but I believe the difference is because for Venos, the Strength multiplier is higher than other magic classes and the Magic multiplier is lower.

    Because of this multiplier difference, Venos don't lose as much of their magic attack as other magic classes would by allocating points out of Magic, making the benefits (Strength: increased fox damage, ability to wear HA; Dex: higher crit and accuracy; Vit: higher HP and marginally higher defenses) come at less of a cost than other magic classes (decreased magic attack, magic defense, and MP).




    Also, I fail at reading. Somehow I missed this post...
    I added a note mentioning that I picked Frost more because it was often a class-separated instance. Though you are correct for the most part. =) However, it is a well known instance, even to those below 100, and serves the example purpose. If you have an example you would prefer to use or know someone who has one, I would gladly borrow it. =)

    That makes sense. I guess I was thinking more of 100+ content, but that wouldn't be as universal as FF.

    This was just a personal example. My squad did have equal gear (in some cases better gear), but I still managed to pull agro frequently(we did not have a barb though). I did not mean to imply that people should expect to pull agro frequently, but rather give an example that I still did, to point out that HA/AA doesn't nerf damage to the extreme.

    About the barbs--I had no intent of pointing out fail barbs. I know people can't read inflection over the internet, but the statement was meant as hyperbole for amusement/making a point about venos, rather than to state anything about the barb class itself. Sorry if it came across wrong. =/

    All good; this is mainly a pet peeve of mine. Hindsight, I can see how it might look like the research I'd done could be taken as a rebuttal to some of your points, but the research pre-dates this thread. I just didn't want people to disqualify your good work due to anecdotes that don't support a norm.

    Aside, the internet really needs a sarcasm or snark flag. b:surrender

    Sadly, that's all the info I had either.

    Sorry--the test was not meant to be a tried and true numbers deal or anything. It was really only there as an example to point out the defense difference. If needed, I can add a actual numbers example though. =)

    It'd be interesting to see the comparison with equalized gear and buffs. That said, it's still a useful comparison to see what the build is capable of.

    Sure thing! Any particular thing you would like in PWCalc? Like did you mean builds, or weapons, or what?

    The PWCalc thing was mainly if you decided to reference a collection of gear in some of your later edits. It's not really necessary. (Or, if you like to steal some of the ones I've included, feel free.)

    Links to PW Database, on the other hand, I really like to see in guides. It gives people a little more incentive to take what you have and build off of it, since you eliminate some of the work they have to do. A quick example, is a reference to the Mogwai Belt. It was one of the most useful pieces of gear for the pioneers of the build and I still see it used every once in awhile today. However, it's a quest reward, so it's a little harder to come across. By adding the link, you give people a leg up on their research since the acquisition information is in the link.

    All of these are quite true, but I think most people know them too, which is why I did not say anything in particular.

    Most likely, yeah. They were very minor quibbles anyway.

    Duly noted. Though as your magic attack gain from spark is nearly double some classes, I did mention it, since as a sage I can spark fairly often, resulting in a higher DPH.

    I think my main concern with this came from a lot of the research I mentioned above. As much as I hate to say it, when you look at raw damage from the Venomancer alone, we're actually pretty low on the DPH stack. There are a lot of things that aren't figured into that raw DPH, particularly pet damage and debuffs.

    That said, the sage spark definitely helps to close the gap, with the added bonus that the spark increases your damage by a multiplier to your weapon attack, meaning that you'll get the same damage increase as a full arcane, assuming the same gear. (On the flip side, full arcane gets the same bonus as HA/AA does with the physical attack modifier as well.)

    Overall, I agree a lot with everything you said. You take most of it rather literally, so--I'll try to write more clearly in the future though. =)

    Maybe I do approach guides from too literal of a viewpoint. b:chuckle

    I tend to be a little tougher on guides since I try to read them from the perspective of someone who doesn't know what most of this stuff means (and may or may not have the best grasp of the English language). But then, it is possible that I take things too far...


    The updated Sage/Demon section looks great, by the way. Probably the only thing that I'd add is using Demon Fox Wallop to force crit some of the heavy hitting skills. It can be tricky to pull off, but a forced crit nova can be particularly nasty.
  • Desdi - SanctuaryDesdi - Sanctuary Posts: 8,680 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    The updated Sage/Demon section is a great addition to the guide!.. especially since it also includes the Primal skills that are absent from older guides/threads for the obvious reasons.

    Since you wrote a few things about each skill, it's probably a good idea to include the lvl79 skills despite not being actual Sage/Demon skills. I can't say the lvl79 skills have any significant differences among play styles of the two but you might as well mention them. It might be worth mentioning details such as Sages having more chi available can use the Myriads more often than Demons, Demons can use Summer Sprint's anti-stun for Feral Concentration without the need of a genie (avoiding the skill's stun) which is useful if one would want to save genie in a pull for..whatever reason. (Not that fortify costs a lot but still, genie stamina has limits!)

    *There's Natural Synergy but requires a pet and the pet may not always be there, plus it costs a spark..plus a spark for Feral Concentration..yeah. It's not as bad on Sages though because of their chi but still... 2 sparks gone in a couple of seconds can still hurt the wrong moment.

    ..and while you're at it, I think you could write a small paragraph about the Morai skills. Simply mentioning that they don't particularly affect the play styles of Sage vs. Demon or HA vs. AA as they have the same functionality for every kind of Venomancer. I'd suspect a newcomer might wonder about those skills when you've already written about 80% of the Venomancer skill tree already b:chuckle
    [SIGPIC]http://i.imgur.com/MtwcqjL.png[/SIGPIC]
    ★ Venomancer videos - tinyurl.com/k6ppkw4 ★ Desdi - Demon ♪ Wyvelin - Sage ★
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    Wow! Everyone comments the weeks I'm not on the forums. >.<

    I do love it, though. :) Especially all you awesome people sharing wisdom/knowledge.

    Now to go through the posts systematically:

    Post 20-21:

    The only HA/AA veno I know who makes videos is Smurf Jeregen.

    Sadly I don't know of any others...but perhaps one of them might pop by here sometime and share. =P


    "So, remaining on the armor discussion... a heavy veno must be able to wear 99 lvl magic gears, but it can use lowest lvl heavy armor like 90 or 80 if it have to put something more on mag, right?

    I know Myerna suggested to not plan too much on stats, but I can't help... XD even just a lvl 80 heavy armor require 246 to str and 50 to dex. That's a lot to me O_O would the remaining points be enough for mag? "


    I think Kossy answered this really well. :)

    Sorry if I was sorta unclear on this: planning is definitely suggested if you are good at it/like to plan. :)
    It is also true, though, that you should always be able to wear a magic weapon your level. If you must sacrifice something, sacrifice str or dex, rather than mag. That said, if you can plan it so you have all the necessary stats, go for it! ^_^
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    Post 22: Great answer, ty. :) Hit the points I wanted to mention, lol.

    Also to note: we have 6 different ornaments we can use for added stats, if needed (2 rings, belt, neck, robe, and helm). None of them except for the helm require stats to wear, making them optimal for extra stats.
  • Myerna - Raging TideMyerna - Raging Tide Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited May 2014
    Posts 23, 25, and 27:

    Wow Mauntille!

    First of all, those are some awesome and extremely helpful builds/calculations!

    Second, would you mind if I added them('them' being your calculations on gear for level, as well as the damage calculations on post #27) into the main guide, so they would be more accessible to people? I think those would be really helpful! All credit would go to you, of course. I just think they are awesome and deserve mention up front. ^_^

    Thirdly: " However, the biggest damage that I've seen has been from combinations of both human/fox skills. One of my favorite combinations was (all Demon skills here, so ymmv) Amplify Damage -> Fox Wallop (until crit buff) -> Myriad Rainbow (Fox) -> Transform (Pet skill Howl during transformation if the Mind Break didn't land with Rainbow) -> Parasitic Nova -> [Venomous Scarab (situational) ->] Lucky Scarab -> Ironwood Scarab -> Myriad Rainbow (Human) -> Transform -> ???."
    Love the combo!

    Fourth: "To be honest, I wish I hadn't had time to do that...it really only happened because I was stuck in an elevator for 6 hours and was (un)lucky enough to have my laptop and extra battery with me and be close enough to a wifi hotspot". Oh no! =/
    Well glad you are okay. And lol, you certainly got a lot done in that time, hehe.

    Fifth: Aside, the internet really needs a sarcasm or snark flag. lol. Agreed!

    "It'd be interesting to see the comparison with equalized gear and buffs" I'll see if I can make one soon!

    "Links to PW Database, on the other hand, I really like to see in guides. It gives people a little more incentive to take what you have and build off of it, since you eliminate some of the work they have to do. A quick example, is a reference to the Mogwai Belt. It was one of the most useful pieces of gear for the pioneers of the build and I still see it used every once in awhile today. However, it's a quest reward, so it's a little harder to come across. By adding the link, you give people a leg up on their research since the acquisition information is in the link." Good point! I'll see if I can pick some stat gear and other such, and link them in PW Database to help out the finders. :)

    I think my main concern with this came from a lot of the research I mentioned above. As much as I hate to say it, when you look at raw damage from the Venomancer alone, we're actually pretty low on the DPH stack. There are a lot of things that aren't figured into that raw DPH, particularly pet damage and debuffs.
    That said, the sage spark definitely helps to close the gap, with the added bonus that the spark increases your damage by a multiplier to your weapon attack, meaning that you'll get the same damage increase as a full arcane, assuming the same gear. (On the flip side, full arcane gets the same bonus as HA/AA does with the physical attack modifier as well.)
    True enough! =P I did realize that we would be pretty low on the DPH stack in comparison, but I didn't want people to discount us entirely. I've faced plenty of people who don't do any research, but just assume that we would be doing so much less damage than everyone else that any bonuses would be null--like how people mock an HA wiz/psy/cleric or an AA barb. So I tried to make a point that we still did decent damage. =) Though you are quite right, and I did not want to presume that we would out-DD a DD-focused class that was played right. Thanks for balancing out my statements and doing good research, hehe. :)

    The updated Sage/Demon section looks great, by the way. Probably the only thing that I'd add is using Demon Fox Wallop to force crit some of the heavy hitting skills. It can be tricky to pull off, but a forced crit nova can be particularly nasty. Okay, thanks! I'll be sure to add that. =)
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